Elaina gets the support she needs, and a B.A.

dsc_9645Elaina Howard is a single mother of three children.  Coming from a shelter, she and her family entered ACHIEVEability transitional housing in March 2007. Prior to entering ACHIEVEability, Elaina was struggling to make ends meet.

She was not receiving ample support from her children’s father and she was finding it more and more difficult to find suitable housing for her and her children. Though, through her struggle she managed to maintain employment and continued to attend college. She knew she had the capabilities and the intellect to pursue her goals, but she just did not have the support to make it happen. She eventually needed to move her and her children into a shelter. This is when she found ACHIEVEability.

Elaina had two main goals upon entering ACHIEVEability: to finish school and to find stable housing for her family.  Besides finding Elaina housing, ACHIEVEability taught Elaina how to budget and found flexible childcare so that she could both work and go to school.  Her self-sufficiency coach even helped her edit her school assignments.

Since entering ACHIEVEability and finally finding stability and support in her life, Elaina has kept her eye on the ball and earned an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in behavioral health human services (BHHS) from Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). She earned this degree in December 2007. In May 2011, Elaina received a bachelor’s degree in social work from LaSalle University.  ACHIEVEability was a major influence in getting her degrees. 

She said, “ACHIEVEability made it possible to finish both my degree programs while raising my daughters and working.  They offered great support, especially from my self-sufficiency coach Jamila Morris-Harrison, and I was able to afford the rent to live in decent and livable home.  Stability is important when you are a single parent with limited resources and ACHIEVEability made it possible for me to continue my education with a peace of mind!”

Currently, Elaina is employed as a vocational employment trainer at JEVS Human Services in Philadelphia.   Her job duties entail training special needs individuals, working to transition them into the workforce. Also, Elaina has begun a home based travel business that is in the start-up phase.  Elaina also will be pursuing a Masters in Social Work at Temple University starting this summer. She said she will not stop continuing her education until she gets her Ph. D!  According to Elaina’s Self-Sufficiency Coach Jamila Harris-Morrison, “Elaina is a very strong woman with a great sense of self.   She’s about the empowerment of women and a great role model to all.”  We agree.