Sara grew up with instability. She was one of four children raised by a hardworking mother who cleaned offices for a living. Sara’s father was abusive, and, though her mother tried to leave him many times, she and the children always returned. “It was living with him or being homeless, so my mom did it for us.”

As she grew into adulthood, Sara found herself following in her mother’s footsteps. When her second child was born, she was determined to break the cycle of violence and poverty. She was determined to give her children a better future.

The path was not easy for Sara. She experienced homelessness, abuse, and setbacks. A homeless shelter referred her to Save the Family in January 2020, and Save the Family referred her to Live & Learn. One month later, the Covid-19 Pandemic began.

Nonetheless, Sara stayed focused on working hard and reaching stability.

“It was tricky because I couldn’t go to job interviews without someone to watch the baby, but I couldn’t afford to pay someone. The longer it went, the worse off I was financially.”

Live & Learn helped Sara identify jobs with virtual interview opportunities, and plan for how to keep her children quiet during the interviews. Sara received coaching on interview skills and job readiness. In July 2021, Sara started a new job at Carvana earning $18/hour. Live & Learn paid for one month of childcare, helped Sara apply for DES support to assist with the cost, and taught her to create monthly budgets.

Now, Sara is working with Live & Learn to prepare to start community college classes in January and advance her career.

Childcare costs have more than tripled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a challenge Maricopa County women are experiencing every day. Live & Learn is grateful for the support of the Arizona Women’s Partnership for their generous grant to provide financial assistance for women like Sara, women working hard to be self-sufficient.