Every day, BANANAS’ team of resource & referral counselors are helping to make the community stronger. Clients visit our office for numerous reasons, whether they are looking for a child care provider, assistance paying for care, educational resources, or items in the free children’s boutique. We consider it a privilege to offer support to families, especially when we know it is going to change lives.
In early June, Camille* came to BANANAS in a state of desperation. Referred by the Family Justice Center, she had recently fled her home to escape her abusive husband. Her three kids—ages 4 months, 3 years, and 5 years—were living with her at a local shelter, and in order for them to survive, Camille had to find work. But in order to find work, she had to locate care for her children. She also had to pay for it.
When she came to BANANAS, she met with one of our resource & referral counselors to discuss her situation and learn about available options. Our counselor helped Camille complete an application for BANANAS’ eligibility list and spoke to her about the potential to apply for respite support as well. The counselor also shared with her other subsidized child care options and provided a list of referrals for subsidized child care centers, including those that care for infants. The counselor also invited the family to visit the BANANAS boutique in order to look for clothing, toys, and books. Camille came to the office the following week for this, which presented another opportunity for her to speak in her native language to a referral counselor and receive more information.
Camille now has all the resources she needs to connect with the perfect child care fit. There is truly no better reward than offering support to hard-working parents like Camille. Says the counselor who assisted Camille, “Being able to help, to actually give much-needed resources to a family, is the best gift in the world. It’s why I come to work and why I look forward to being here every day.”
*Please note that our client’s name has been changed to protect her identity.