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When college doesn’t end happily ever after.

August 20, 2019

Heather moved from her dorm to her car—and then found EAN.

Graduating college should be an exciting time in one’s life, but too often lower-income students find themselves struggling to make ends meet as they search for the right job—or even one that will just cover their bills.

Heather graduated from a well-known Bay Area state university in 2016. Armed with a solid education and now her Bachelor’s, Heather felt confident she would be able to use her degree and start her career. Unfortunately the job market was tough and, though she applied for numerous jobs in her chosen field, Heather soon found herself moving out of her dorm and into her car. She had no other place to go.

Heather was working two jobs, as a caretaker and a grocery deliverer, when she learned about the Emergency Action Network (EAN). She contacted the EAN in need of food and asked if there were any other services that might be available to her. After meeting with a case manager, Heather was connected to a food pantry and a benefits clinic, and was referred to a housing program and a financial coaching program.

Heather was able to find an affordable room for rent, thanks to her new contacts, and was approved for move-in assistance for her first month’s rent and security deposit. Heather will continue to meet with her case manager to work on life skills like budgeting, saving, paying bills, and even cooking.

Now that she’s living in her own space and learning the skills to help her succeed in her personal life and career, Heather says she is excited and optimistic about starting a new chapter in her life.

The Emergency Assistance Network (EAN) is a collaborative initiative that helps families and individuals recover from emergency situations by providing food assistance, rent and mortgage aid, utility assistance, and medical and transportation aid—often providing case management and financial education.