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Success Story: The Smith Family

Last year, must! charities partnered with ECHO, El Camino Homeless Organization.  ECHO is a transitional shelter in Northern San Luis Obispo County that is helping families and individuals find permanent housing. ECHO is for people who are ready to make a change in their lives. People like The Smith Family.

As a newly blended family, Scott and Amy brought together two boys as step-brothers Christopher 7, and Matthew 10. Both boys know what it’s like to be homeless and hungry, to sleep in their car in a parking lot, and to wish for a home with air conditioning when it’s 100 degrees outside.

Through the help of the ECHO Case Management Team, they were connected to afterschool programs so Scott and Amy could focus on finding full time employment. After a short time at ECHO, Scott was able to secure a full-time job with a construction company and Amy found part-time work at a restaurant.

It was at this point, with financial guidance from the ECHO team, the family was able to start saving money and create a savings plan that would allow them to obtain sustainable and permanent housing once they moved out of ECHO. Paired with assistance from The Link, the family was able to find a program that would subsidize a portion of their housing for a temporary time period. This was the final step in securing the housing they needed.

After six months at ECHO, they are now in their own home with two full time jobs and Amy is enrolled in college courses. The brothers are doing well in school and they were excited to have their own room and even more excited for their new bunkbed!

This family gives us a picture of second chances and is just one example of lives positively affected by ECHO.