Wendy left COTS two and half years ago, after coming up on a wait list for a local affordable housing complex. She’s been busy! While working and raising her teenage kids, she earned her BA in Psychology last year from SSU.

She now works two jobs: freelancing as a massage therapist (the job with which she put herself through school) and working in her new field as a behavioral technician, working one-on-one with an autistic teenager, helping him develop school and life skills.

She credits COTS with helping her develop the habit of saving. “I grew up with a mother who spent money she didn’t have. I had to learn to do things a different way. If I hadn’t saved money at COTS I wouldn’t have been able to move to my apartment. Things are still tight, but I have a savings cushion that I’m really proud of.”

She’s also really proud of her kids—for their academic successes but also because of their maturity and consideration. “Living so close, we became close. They notice if I need help. They’ll cook and clean. They’ve stayed out of trouble and they have good heads on their shoulders.”

Wendy’s advice: “Everybody needs help at some point in their life. For everybody, that help comes at different times and from different people. Let go of any stigma around that. If you don’t, you’ll be over- whelmed by your problems and you won’t get to where you want to go.”