June 16, 2017  |  Education Health Housing Northern California

Patricia Figueroa

I joined FII in December 2016 after I had heard about all the resources and great support system. I also love the FII community and what it stands for. I like it so far — it keeps me on my toes, such as with my finances, especially looking at my goals — to secure housing, to get a degree, and to improve my health.

When I joined FII, my family had been living with my mother for the past 10 years. Then the landlord died, and the landlord’s children sold the house forcing us to move. After a sort time living with my mother-in-law in her 1-bedroom apartment, my FII group told me about a Homeless Prenatal Program that helped families with rent deposits. Using that program, my husband, two girls and myself just moved into a 2-bedroom apartment of our own.

Now I am working towards finishing my California Alcohol and Drugs Education (C.A.A.D.E.) and to graduate from City College — and I have already completed one year of classes. In fact, many of my group members are taking the same classes at City College and we remind each other of homework due and go over each other’s papers and offer corrections.

When I finish my degree, it will be a huge deal. I will be the first one to graduate from college. I am the example for my three younger siblings, and for my children. When I sit down to do my homework, my daughter sits down next to me and does her homework with me. She is only 8 years old and she is already is talking about going to Berkeley University!

The FII data journal also helps me with my goals. It makes me ACCOUNTABLE — the goals are there and I am reminded of them every month I complete my journal. I look at the graphs and take in month-by-month my achievements and goals that are being met. For example, I have been changing my eating habits a lot, I still eat whatever I want, but I watch my portions. I also go to the doctor regularly to keep my health on target. We also go over our goals together in our monthly check-ins, checking in to see who goes to the doctors. Sometimes I even walk with my group peers.

Participating in FII is helping me achieve my goals — to secure housing, get a degree, and improve my health.

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