It’s a scene that’s been playing out across the United States for years. Local grocery chains and independent supermarkets are closing their doors as a few retailers dominate. Subsequently, store employees lose their jobs in the wake.
Tim J. is one of the victims of this trend. A butcher of 15 years, he found himself suddenly unemployed and having trouble finding work in the field he loves.
Tim and his teenage son have lived in their Evansville home since 2006. He had fixed up his wife’s grandmother’s home and his wife lived with Tim and his son for many years until they separated. Without his wife’s income and now out of work, Tim had to make some tough choices.
“A few months without working went by and it was a choice of putting food on the table, feeding my son, and keeping the heat on, or paying the mortgage,” recalls Tim.
He had been on his own since he was 16-years-old and was in danger of losing his home due to foreclosure. Moving to an apartment wasn’t an option as it would cost him even more per month. He started boxing up his belongings and began to sell off his possessions of value. That’s when he started calling places in the phone book for help with tears in his eyes.
Tim called Kathy Duncan at HOPE of Evansville. She gave him something to believe in and told him if he would do exactly what she instructed him to do, he would be able to keep his home.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” remembers Tim. First Kathy was able to arrange for his mortgage company to issue a six-month forbearance. This bought Tim some time to find a job as a butcher rather than just taking whatever he could find. That went a long way in preserving his self-worth.
Then Kathy helped him get reinstated with assistance from Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund. The funds allowed Tim to get caught up on his mortgage.
“My prayers were answered,” Tim says. He knew he was at risk of losing his home, and that could have resulted in losing custody of his son as well. “It meant everything to be able to tell my son that things were going to be OK.”
Back to work cutting meat and safe at home with his son, Tim is now in a much better place.
“Now I’m rebuilding my life. I didn’t lose everything. I was able to not only keep my pride, my dignity and my home.”