Mary came to our emergency shelter in April of 2020—at the height of the pandemic. She had just been released from jail—and had just given birth to her second little girl.

Mary faced so many barriers—she had a criminal history, and the pandemic left few options for employment. She didn’t have a car, further limiting her job options. And she had a newborn and a toddler who needed childcare.

But Mary didn’t give up. She quickly found a job at Giant and began saving her money. With some help from family and some financial assistance from Inter-Faith, she bought a car.

She also was able to obtain rental assistance through Your Way Home’s Rapid Rehousing program, allowing her to enter our 2-year transitional housing program at Hope Gardens.

Since then, Mary has gotten a new job at Chipotle, where she’s been promoted and is in line for a management position. She has saved more than $6,000! She has also increased her credit score to more than 700.

In July, she applied to the Montgomery County First Time Home Buyers Program. She’s hoping to start looking for a house soon!