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  • Writer's pictureFamily Promise Philadelphia

The Hassans

An Abused and Abandoned Mother & Five Children Find a Lifeline to Housing Stability

“Mrs. Hassan,” signed a lease with her husband when he was supporting the family financially. However, it was an abusive marriage. Eventually, after they signed the lease, the violence was so bad that she had to file a Protection from Abuse/PFA order against him. After she filed the PFA, her husband stopped paying their rent.

It wasn’t long before the family was threatened with eviction. An immigrant from Algeria with limited English proficiency and 5 children, Mrs. Hassan had no work history because her husband did not allow her to work the years they were married. Instead, he had told her to stop going to school before they got married because he would take care of the family. After he left, the only job she could find was in childcare on a part-time basis - 20 hours per week at $8 per hour - but it was not enough for her to pay her rent and support her 3 daughters (ages 20, 18, 17) and 2 sons (ages 13, 9).

To help the family avert eviction we worked first with Mrs. Hassan to assess her family’s immediate needs and challenges, and then financial resources, debts and monthly budget. With some financial literacy instruction and coaching, she made a plan.

We mediated an agreement with her landlord. With Mrs. Hassan contributing $500 from her monthly income to bring rent current we provided $525 in emergency rent assistance. We also partnered with St. Vincent de Paul to cover her back utility bills.

In the fall, the “Angels of Christmas,” adopted the family, enabling them to receive holiday food baskets and Christmas gifts.

While financial and basic needs prevailed, there was more. Mrs. Hassan struggled to manage her household without the support of other family. She also struggled with limited job prospects and depression. To support her ability to boost income through work, we connected Mrs. Hassan with

afterschool programs that gave her a longer work day. We guided her to two employment agencies with opportunities for new jobs that would pay more. She looked to her 20-year old daughter who was in school training to become an ultrasound technician.

With compassionate care the Hassan Family averted what could have been a first-time eviction, but also took meaningful steps toward sustainable self-sufficiency.


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