No matter how you look at it, parenting is tough. But when you add financial struggles and substance recovery to the challenges of raising three young daughters, it all can become very overwhelming.

Meloney, a Mansfield, Ohio native, was struggling to raise her children while also living in poverty and trying to overcome addiction. She had difficulty maintaining a job, paying her bills, and caring for her children. Though she loved her children, all of the stressors and obstacles that continued to block her path to meaningful steps forward, eventually overcame her and she temporarily lost custody of her children.

But Meloney wasn’t ready to give up. She found and enrolled in a Motherhood Program operated by the local Community Action Agency, Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron and Richland Counties. CACEHR worked with her to begin tearing down the many barriers that had been in front of her. She learned how to better communicate with the father of her children, and she learned how to be a better parent overall.

Learning new parenting strategies wasn’t going to be all that was necessary for Meloney to regain permanent custody of her girls, though. She knew that she needed to be financially stable if she were to care for them properly. CACEHR’s Motherhood Program connected her with the agency’s Employment Training Program, also located at the Mansfield Office. There, she was able to get additional training and build skills necessary for employment. Meloney learned how to write a resume and prepare for interviews. She gained so much with the program that she secured employment on the first day of her next job search!

Community Action Agencies across Ohio are working every day with people just like Meloney—people who have fallen on difficult times but have continued to fight and overcome whatever stands between them and their goals. Meloney has been able to maintain sobriety and continues to attend weekly outpatient rehab groups to prevent relapsing, she has maintained a steady job, she has secured a safe place to call home, and most importantly she has been reunited with and gained custody of all three of her children.

We are proud of her accomplishments and of the holistic services provided by CACEHR that helped her along the way.

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