CassandraMy name is Cassandra. I am 19 years old, and I have a one year old daughter named E’moni. I currently reside in the MELD Transitional Living Program at the 4th Avenue and 5th Street building.

About a year ago my mother kicked me out of her house. I had a 4 month old baby at the time and didn’t know where to go or who to turn to.

My Family Support Worker from Easter Seals told me about the MELD program, so I decided to give them a call. When I called MELD, the staff were very helpful and friendly. Within weeks I had somewhere to stay. I really feel that the program has helped me out a lot. They have assisted me with budgeting my money, setting up a bank account, and developing a resume. I love going to the MELD Young Moms support groups they facilitate every week because it provides me with a positive and healthy place to talk about things going on in my life.

Since entering the program, I have received educational support and became stable enough to work on my education goals. I began attending college this year at Rock Valley College. I started taking my general education courses and attended the certification classes for the Certified Nursing Assistant certificate at the same time.  After I received my C.N.A. certificate, I was hired at Park Strathmore where I work part-time.

I could not have accomplished these goals without the stability and support of MELD.

I have been in the MELD program for a year now and they have been a great help to me and my daughter. Without the program I don’t know where I would be. I could have ended up on the streets, had to move from house to house, and could have even lost my daughter. The assistance of the MELD program has helped prevent that for me and my daughter, and for that I am truly thankful.

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