Stability and a Better Life
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Stability and a Better Life

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September 25, 2012

Mr. G, 64, brings in $1,673 a month in veterans and Social Security benefits, and lives in an unsubsidized apartment.  Diagnosed with cancer and high blood pressure, and also suffering from PTSD and the effects of Agent Orange, Mr. G reports his health to be fair. As a veteran he utilizes VA health benefits and has submitted applications for full compensation for his disability.

A Quest for Help

Before he approached United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona—an NCOA Economic Security Service Center—Mr. G found himself short on funds to pay his bills each month. He had used his savings to make up the difference and exacerbated his financial problems by borrowing money from a payday type title loan company, paying 156% on a $1,500 loan.

Understanding that his current income was inadequate to pay for his monthly expenses, Mr. G decided that he wanted to work part-time but had no success finding work. He met with Sandra, a volunteer Economic Resource Specialist at United Way, who helped him prioritize his concerns. He identified his top three priorities:

  • Employment 
  • Financial issues
  • Dental issues

A Plan of Action

As part of the Better Directions initiative—which links economic service sites to community development credit unions—Sandra referred Mr. G to Pyramid Federal Credit Union for help with debt management. After opening a free checking account with a direct deposit of his Social Security check, he got a new loan at 4% interest. He paid off the title loan and now has the small monthly payments automatically withdrawn from his account each month. He was happy to report that the debt would be paid off in a few months.

Sandra also gave him a referral to help him with his job search. Thanks to a grant funded program at One Stop, Mr. G is developing new skills, and was accepted to a nursing assistant training program.

To address the problems with his teeth he was referred to a local health care center that provides dentistry on a sliding scale. Mr. G decided to postpone the needed dental work until he had more available funds.
He is now looking forward to the positive changes he anticipates for the future, and  hopes to have enough money to take a trip to visit his grandchildren. The steps Mr. G took to improve his economic security moved him to a level of stability and gave him hope for a better life.

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