With Ceida at Every Step: Helping a Family Through Tough Times

As a single mother of two children, falling ill even for a few days can become a difficult situation for Ceida.

When she began experiencing migraines and depression, she took short-term disability from her work to seek medical care. 

Because she believed that her unexplained medical situation was weighing on her children, Ceida sought help for them by taking them to therapy at Blank Children's hospital.

While there, the doctor recommended Ceida reach out to EveryStep for assistance through its Connections program.

Through EveryStep's Connections program, family outreach staff work closely with pediatric, specialty, and family medicine clinics – providing intake services, developmental screenings, and connections to community resources for children who have been identified as needing support services.

Issues that are addressed include child development, social and emotional health, family risk factors, and social determinants of health. 

Ceida was quickly put in touch with family outreach specialist Abigail Shull, who provided the family with community resources.

"She started helping me a lot," Ceida said. "She's an angel sent by heaven to me. It's been a really big big help. I don't have the words to say how grateful I am for this program and Abby."

When she first found out that Abby and Connections could provide the family with assistance in finding resources in the community, Ceida was overwhelmed with emotion.

Through the program, Ceida was able to apply for SNAP, Polk County General Assistance, Compassion funds through Blank and health insurance.

As winter approached, Ceida wasn't expecting to be able to provide her family with much for the holidays.

"We weren't expecting anything for Christmas because I just didn't have the funds," she recalled. "In the end, my kids received presents because of EveryStep. It was very, very nice."

While Ceida has begun treatment for her migraines, she was still on short-term disability until recently.

"I recently lost my job," she said. "During my short-term disability, my job couldn't give me any more extensions so they let me go."

With no income at all, Ceida worried about how she'd be able to pay rent and other bills.
That's when Abby reached out and asked what she could do to help.

"I had my electric bill disconnection notice and was worried about rent," Ceida said. "Abby just came and asked me what we needed, and she started working."

EveryStep's Family Emergency fund through the organization's Quality of Life program was able to step in, providing funds to cover the family's rent and electric bill.

"I was like 'oh my god.’ I started crying. It's something that I'm never going to forget. It's really beautiful what this program does," she said.

Ceida said she's now taking things step by step. If her treatments go well, she hopes to be able to re-enter the workforce soon.

"I have a lot of hope that things will get better," she said. "I feel blessed that I received help. I want other people to know that they aren't alone."

You can help families like Ceida's by contributing to EveryStep’s Quality of Life program. For more information on the EveryStep Foundation and donation options, click here.