In 2005, Jose lived in the Raleigh Durham area where he worked at two different malls, had a condominium, a truck and was able to support his family. By 2008, the economy shifted and he lost both jobs. He could no longer afford his truck payments or his apartment rent and lost both. He moved to a smaller place and searched for permanent employment but met significant barriers at each turn and landed in Winston-Salem at a local homeless shelter.

Shelter staff referred Jose to the Prosperity Center in January of 2014. Jose attended four financial education workshops on debt reduction/asset building, budgeting, and the wise use of credit and met with the Center’s financial counselor on two separate occasions to work on past debt and tax lien issues.

Although he was working a part-time job, one of Jose’s barriers was his lack of personal transportation. He was utilizing public transportation, which limited his availability to work. But Jose was determined. In the first two months, using the knowledge and skills he learned at the Center, he purchased a scooter so he could work when he was needed, whether bus service was available or not. This allowed him to increase his hours and earn more money. Jose continued to work with Prosperity Center staff and found a second job at a factory in shipping/receiving. This income boost along with assistance from the housing program helped Jose to obtain housing in a small apartment and move out of the shelter.

Jose experienced a short stint where he was under-employed; however, because he had learned the importance of savings and had saved money while he was working steadily, he was able to maintain. Jose is back to full-time work now, working in maintenance at McDonalds and Zaxby’s and continues to come to the Prosperity Center to work with staff on advancing- he is working on his degree in Network Security at ITT Technical Institute.

Jose was ready to embrace what the Center had to offer and, in under a year, because of his willingness to learn, his dedication and his attitude, Jose has started on his path to a financially stable future.