Starting from scratch was daunting but necessary for Apolonia. With two children in a new country, the stakes were that much higher. That’s where our United Way Center for Financial Stability came in.
Apolonia, a pharmacy director in Venezuela, often opened the doors of her pharmacy to help demonstrators after they were attacked by the regime. One day in 2018, amongst the turmoil, she received a call no parent is ever prepared for: They claimed to have kidnapped her daughter and threatened to kill her. But it was just a terrifying scare tactic. Apolonia took this as a sign to flee her native Venezuela and uproot her 6-year-old daughter and teenage son to the U.S.
Apolonia brought some savings with her, but funds quickly ran out. For her family, finding a place to call home was the most daunting task. A friend opened the doors to her home, but seven people living in a two-bedroom apartment can quickly become difficult to manage. Apolonia needed to make a change, and she needed one fast. As she was walking down Third Avenue in The Roads neighborhood, the change she sought appeared right before her eyes. She happened to be walking by the Center. She called shortly after to see if they could help.
Through one-on-one financial coaching, Apolonia learned how to create a plan, establish attainable goals and a budget. Her coach helped her fix her resume and live within her means. Recently, Apolonia and her children finally moved into their new place, close to public transportation and her daughter’s school.
Do you know someone that can benefit from the United Way Center for Financial Stability? Want to help? Visit unitedwaymiami.org/cfs.