A Home For The Holidays


Home for the holidays is a common theme this time of year. Countless stories have been told about people dashing through the snow to get home and how even if you can’t make it by plane, train or automobile, you’ll by home for Christmas if only in your dreams.

Amalie dreamed of a home to call her own. The 22-year-old single mom had three children - a three-year-old and one-year-old twins, a part-time job, a full-time nursing school load and a high level of stress.

Living at her mother’s home, Amalie and her three small children were cooped up in a small bedroom alongside her teenage sister and it was starting to feel like the walls were closing in.

“Amalie and her family are from the Islands and they have a lot of relatives who travel,” explained Amalie’s case manager Kara. “The relatives stay in the family home when they visit and it can get a little crowded. With three kids to look after, Amalie is done and she wants to move.”

Kara first met Amalie when she arrived at CP, seeking help for her issues with depression and anxiety exacerbated by her stress.

“When she first came here, she was extremely worried and depressed,” Kara said. “She doesn’t get a lot of support from her children’s father and didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Amalie didn’t think that independence would ever be a possibility for herself and her family.”

Kara was determined to help her client Change The Odds and went to work.

“Amalie is a model client,” she said. “She is invested in helping herself and follows through with every referral I’ve ever given her – social services, psych. She’s also a shy person so it’s tough for her but she does it anyway.”

Connecting with Community Partners TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) Program, Kara reached out to coordinator Marcie to see what could be done.

“Well, when anyone submits an application, I always try and get a lot of background information on their current situation, their background and their renting history, so I have an idea with what type of services will best benefit them and if I’ll be able to assist them,” Marcie explained. “Our low income units are wonderful, but they are very strict. They have a lot of restrictions and you need to have a clean credit record with no evictions as well as a clean background check with no criminal charges.  When I found out that we had a four bedroom coming up, I remembered talking to Kara about Amalie and I thought she would be perfect.”

Kara filled out an application for her client and was approved the next day. Amalie and her family would finally have a home of their own.

“It’s a four bedroom, two bathroom apartment in Delray,” Kara explained. “Each child gets their own bedroom and Amalie is so excited!”

Since Amalie and her children have never lived in their own place before, Kara is working on getting together some essentials for the family – kitchenware, lamps and linens – and is planning on reaching out to The Giving Tree – a Boca-based organization which has helped Community Partners clients in the past.

“I think it’s important for providers within the organization to work together because we each have our own skill sets, knowledge, and resources that can be used to meet a variety of needs,” Kara said. “This holistic approach is vital because most of our clients come to us with a wide variety of needs from mental health to even the most basic needs of everyday life.”

Over 60 years ago, Perry Como sang that there was no place like home for the holidays. Thanks to a collaborative effort between Community Partners’s different departments, this couldn’t ring more true for Amalie and her family.

Happy Holidays from our families to yours!