Christina is a native of Maine, and a 40-year old mother of three children. After working for years as an LPN nurse in her hometown, Christina and her family packed up, left their apartment, and moved to Orlando.
Her husband had gotten a new job in our area as the driver of an 18-wheeler, and she had heard about lots of opportunity in healthcare jobs in Florida. In his first week on the new job, Christina’s husband was badly injured in a crash. One of his legs was broken up so badly that he nearly lost it. Not only would he be unable to go back to work quickly, but it became clear that he would likely be permanently disabled from the accident.
After some difficulties in getting her LPN certification transferred and active to work in Florida, Christina was able to find a low-paying job at a local care facility. It took months to get her husband’s disability assistance to start. To save money, her family moved into a single-wide trailer with a struggling single mother they had met, who also had three children. Three adults (one disabled) and six children, living in a trailer home.
Needless to say, it was not the life any of them had been hoping for. One major silver lining for the family was the ability to visit one of Second Harvest Food Bank’s partner agencies on the East side of Orlando and get some of the basic food necessities they needed to remain healthy. Meats, vegetables and fruits, rice, cereal, juice, and even a few treats for the kids were part of their weekly allotment.
Christina’s story is not at all unusual. Families from across the nation come to our community seeking a better life, and are often handed circumstances they did not count on.