Mark-Taylor has a special relationship with the communities surrounding our developments, engaging in ways that enable our employees and residents to understand broader charitable needs and respond to them. This includes everything from canned food drives during the holidays to providing medical care for those who cannot afford it. We also contribute in ways that make the most sense, providing housing for at-risk families in the form of free rent for a year, enabling them to stabilize their finances and get back on solid footing.
Our current partnership is with Family Promise, an organization in the shadows of one of our planned developments that is dedicated to reducing family homelessness by providing shelter, case management and life skills training so families can gain self-sufficiency. In the first few months of our partnership with Family Promise, which began in the fall of 2012, more than $40,000 was generated for the organization to help get families off the streets.
To gain wider engagement, Mark-Taylor initiated “The Great Give,” an opportunity for employees and residents to feed their soul by extending their generosity to Family Promise through the holiday season. For each $5 contribution, donors were entered for an opportunity to win 12 months of free rent in a luxurious Mark-Taylor community. Every contribution benefited Family Promise, raising more than $45,000 for the organization in Phoenix and Las Vegas.
Mark-Taylor is also providing 12 months free rent to one Family Promise family, the latest of dozens who have benefited from the same gift, many who continue to reside in the communities that supported them when they needed it most.
Meet a few of our special residents:
|Rachel Larkin»||Gary Caraway»|
|Larena Banda»||Fatimah Tyiska»|
|Desiree G.»||Trenetta McClinton»|
Rachel Larkin, who is the single mom of two children, has not had an easy life. Her own mother struggled with drugs, and Rachel first became homeless as a teen. But she somehow persisted in her education, graduating from high school despite these significant challenges. Rachel drew on that tenacity again when she began working with Save the Family and enrolled in a medical billing program in hopes of a better paying job to support her two boys, Avyonne, 3, and Jeriah, who is 7 months old. Without a car, she turned instead to the city bus system, relying on public transportation to ferry her to and from her part-time job at a day care center to school and home. Rachel's hard work paid off, even in this difficult economy: her wage has jumped from $7.25 to $11 an hour, thanks to her new job skills.
A single dad who moved to Arizona from New Jersey in search of a better life for his children, Gary Caraway is a baker for a chain restaurant, but hopes to one day work in human services, helping people in need. He has used many of Save the Family's services, from career services to budgeting classes, and his sons, Gary Lee, 11, and Stephan, 10, regularly participate in the foundation's afterschool programs. He hopes to save enough money to buy a house for himself and his boys.
Larena Banda, 29, is no stranger to shelters, living on the street, or the dangers of such a life. But after the birth of her son Isaiah, now 1, she came to Save the Family. For Larena, who has struggled with finances, drugs, and failed relationships, Save the Family has offered a chance to develop the basic life skills she never had, and she now has taken classes in budgeting, parenting, and domestic violence education. Larena has also gotten a job and hopes to go back to college to get her nursing degree.
Life can get messy. That's what happened to Fatimah Tyiska, who moved to Arizona from California to live with a family member. When that didn't work out, Fatimah and her son Christopher, 5, had no place to live; Fatimah also had no job, no savings, and poor credit. But she enrolled in Save the Family, using its career services to find a job that pays nearly $11 an hour. "Save the Family has been truly supportive in offering my family financial, parental, and personal knowledge, which is helping me move toward self-sufficiency,"Fatimah says. "And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, along came a wonderful blessing and the opportunity of a lifetime, Mark-Taylor! Because of Mark-Taylor, my son and I have the opportunity to live in an apartment for a year and have the opportunity to save money. I can achieve my dream of homeownership, a college degree, and being a wonderful mother."
Desiree, whose last name is being withheld for safety reasons, is a young mother of two who became homeless because of a domestic violence situation. For years, she was in an abusive relationship, staying "because I was afraid of doing everything for myself and my children."Finally, she gained the courage to leave and join Save the Family, which has helped her begin addressing those difficult issues. Desiree, who is employed, also turned to Save the Family to help her learn how to budget her money. "I am much happier now thanks to Save the Family,"she says. "Even my four-year-old notices a difference in me."
For Trenetta McClinton, homelessness was the result of having to make impossible choices between her work or her younger son's health. She has two children, Vincent, 9, who enjoys wrestling and reading, and Xander, now 1. But Xander has had medical issues since he was born, causing her to frequently miss work-and she lost her job. Through Save the Family, though, Trenetta found a new job and has been working hard to pay off her debt as well as learn how to improve her financial situation through Save the Family's budgeting classes.