Editor’s note: this was submitted by Nikki and is her original reflections on her experience with avoiding foreclosure through lacasa’s services. I have only added labels to her reflections. Thanks Nikki!

Shantell Gyovai

Nikki and her kids

Hardship hits: Last year I found out I was pregnant. Already being a single mom of two daughters, I worked as much as I could to make ends meet. My son was due in late September, but on August 4th, 2016 I ended up having my son 7 weeks early.  We spent 4 weeks with my son in the NICU.  I was off of work for 12 weeks before being cleared to return due to complications from childbirth and complications with my son.

A new normal: After I returned to work, I realized that working 12 hour night shifts as a nurse was not working well with a newborn at home, so I changed jobs, which caused me to take a pretty big pay cut in order to be home with my children each evening.  This caused me to struggle that much more to make ends meet.

Finding help: After doing research on different resources available, I came across the Hardest Hit Fund through the Get Hope website.  My hope when I applied for the Hardest Hit Fund was to save my home from foreclosure because I knew that my kids needed a stable environment and I didn’t want to lose the home I had worked hard to get.   I contacted them and I was matched with Lacasa.

Shantell Gyovai House

Shantell’s house

Getting back on track: I worked with Tessie Molina and she helped me with getting my mortgage payments current once I got approved. Tessie was amazing to work with. She never made me feel bad for my hardship and was so compassionate toward me and my circumstances. She would check on my son and ask me how he was doing and showed me how much she cared about my kids and I.

Tessie 6-24-16

Foreclosure Prevention Counselor Tessie Molina

Meeting with her and going over my budget was very helpful to see in black and white what my income was, what all of my bills for the month are and the best way to tackle getting these bills paid down to help improve my credit.

While meeting with Tessie and going over my budget, she also helped with suggestions on ways to help my monthly bills. She suggested I ask for a deferment on my student loans while I go through the financial hardship.  I got approved for a 12 month deferral which has helped decrease my monthly bills so I do not struggle near as much and can work on paying off other debt.

New perspective: Since receiving the Hardest Hit Funds assistance, this has given me a whole new perspective for my family and our life. I have more peace of mind when it comes to worrying about making ends meet and ensuring my kids have everything they need. It has helped me see hope that I will rebuild my credit and hopefully within the next year have most of the debt incurred as a result of my pregnancy and premature birth of my son paid off and start actually saving money for the future.

I cannot say I still don’t struggle, but now I know that we will be okay. We will have a place to live and food to eat, and within a year the bills that were causing me such a struggle will no longer be a concern!  I am able to enjoy my children and spend my time making memories with them, rather than stressing how I am going to pay all of my bills every month.

Thank you lacasa for helping my family keep our home and make our life so much less stressful. Now I can focus on being the best nurse and Mom that I can be!  I could never thank you enough for the blessing you have been for my family!

Thank you, Nikki, for the inspiration!

And thank you to our supporters. This work can’t happen without you. lacasa helped 196 families prevent foreclosure in 2015 and we’ve assisted 68 families in preventing foreclosures through June of this year.

Take action

Make a donation

Share this story with your network by clicking on one of the social media icons below.