EAST CHICAGO | East Chicago Housing Authority residents took one big step closer to their goals last month when they successfully completed the seven-week DYPEC 2013: Happy Homes Program, where they learned more effective parenting, financial and home management skills and methods to counteract the negative life outcomes and frustrations.
“An important thing I learned was how to look at failure. It’s not about me, but a warning that I need to get more information to reach the solution I’m looking for," said one student. "So, what I thought was impossible, I now know I can make it happen. I can’t tell you how great that feels.”
In learning to expand or adjust their perspectives to see the possibilities in their current situation(s) rather than “impossibilities,” many saw their family relationships improve and their dreams again become possible, with one student going back to school, and another saving for a house.
They also became friends and created a support system for each other. “I don’t know what I would’ve done if this program hadn’t come up when it did,” Vernita Humphries said.
ECHA residents in violation of ECHA’s housekeeping requirements are mandated to enroll in DYPEC to learn proper housecleaning skills to avoid possible eviction. After orientation, residents attend five weeks of parenting and home management classes conducted by the Indiana Parenting Institute, and one week of financial classes conducted by First Midwest Bank Vice-President Martha Rivas-Ramos.
Upon program completion, residents receive a Certificate of Program Completion and a celebration.
Graduates have the option to continue meeting at First Baptist Church of East Chicago, as part of FBC’s Parent Ministry, which most choose to do to sustain the encouragement and support they need to continue to feed their determination.
“I just attended a graduation and was reduced to tears on several occasions by the testimonials of the participants," Rivas-Ramos said. "They shared. . . how after only six short weeks they have changed their approach to parenting. They admitted that prior to the class, they dictated to their children, yelled at and just did not handle the everyday stress of parenting correctly, but now, after. . .this class, they know better how to reason with their kids, talk to them and respect them for the individuals they are.”