I met Edmond, a United Way SparkPoint client, at the residential hotel where he is a clerk. The hotel mostly houses former addicts and people with a criminal record. It’s not a happy place, and Edmond tells me residents get mugged every day.
Edmond gets paid only $8.50 an hour with no health benefits. He lives with his mother since he immigrated to the U.S. last year because he can’t afford a place on his own.
Sparking softly, he said, “It’s humbling. I really want to move out of my mother’s house. Grown men are supposed to be able to support themselves and not have to depend on relatives.”
But Edmond’s life is changing because of SparkPoint. It’s a one-stop financial help and education center, and he’s really getting the help he needs. He’s working with a coach who hooked him up with financial aid to take computer classes. His SparkPoint coach also helped him apply for credit cards so he could begin establishing a credit history. And he learned how to be responsible around money, budget, and save.
All of these things build on another so that he can reach his goals.
After talking with Edmond about his working and living situation, his voice and whole outlook changed when he spoke about SparkPoint and his future. He said, “I am a simple man – I want a better job, my own place, a family, and a golden retriever. I have a long way to go, but with SparkPoint, I feel like I am well on my way to achieving my American Dream.”
Edmond is a client at SparkPoint West Contra Costa, which is lead by Richmond Community Foundation and generously supported by founding coporate partner Chevron. Learn more about SparkPoint at www.sparkpointcenters.org.