“My mom was one of the first women realtors in the state of Ohio,” Janice explains as she shared her earliest memories of working with her mom in the Sandusky real estate business.
“I worked with my mom, and we shared her real estate company,” Janice reminisced. “I worked as a realtor for at least 25 years. I would list properties and do house viewings.”
Although she only worked part-time, Janice made enough money to provide a decent life for herself working at her mom’s company.
“The pay was average at that time. I was able to afford a car. I also managed one of my mom’s properties,” she says.
Janice was following in her mother’s path. But life soon took a different turn for the Sandusky native. Due to some bad choices, Janice lost almost everything and developed a brain disorder that left her with a mental illness and an inability to work.
“I really don’t have much of anything now, but I have God’s peace of mind,” adds Janice.
Since then, Janice supported herself with income provided by various government agencies, help from a court appointed guardian and food from various food pantries in town. Her budget and living expenses have left her financially limited and unable to plan for anything outside of her basic needs.
Janice went to Holy Angels Catholic Church for their food services when she received information about the Basic Budgeting Skills workshop offered by Catholic Charities in Sandusky.
“I wanted to go so I could stay educated and up-to-date on budgeting,” Janice says. Janice told a friend about the workshops, and they decided it was a good idea to go together.
Catholic Charities hosts the workshops monthly in Huron County but recently expanded the program to reach more people.
“We started the Basic Budgeting Skills workshop in Sandusky as a way to raise awareness about Catholic Charities and to assess the needs in Erie County,” says Rodney Schuster, Catholic Charities Executive Director.
The Basic Budgeting Skills workshop teaches clients how to manage a limited income by creating a savings and budgeting plan.
“It helped me to stretch my money out and save,” says Janice. “One thing I learned was to make sure that my priorities are put first. I also learned to put money aside every time that I get paid. They even gave us a calculator to use at the grocery store.”
Janice considers saving money to one day own a car, but for now, she is focused on saving for emergencies and joining local donors to help others in her community.
Janice has also managed to tithe to her church and give back to local organizations that have helped her over the years.
“I guess it’s like a pay back to pay forward. God has been so good to me that it is easier to be good to others.”
She thanks the supporters of Catholic Charities for making this possible.
“Thank you for supporting programs to help people who are trying to better themselves,” she says. “We are really striving to be better.”