And Clark, whose own student loans have ballooned to more than $150,000, has already begun worrying about Marlon’s college education. Without money to pay for his schooling, she hopes he can get a scholarship based on his grades or athleticism.
One form of stability for Clark and her family could come if they are approved for federal Section 8 housing. She has been on waiting lists in a host of communities but the lists are long. Clark has also continued to look for a full-time job that would allow her to cover the rent at her apartment.
Antolini knows that a full-time job would be good for Clark. The church is poised to begin major renovations, and cannot offer Clark full-time work until they are completed, she said.
Clark’s state social worker has suggested that she leave her job at St. James and work as a temp. But that seems too perilous to Clark.
“I have two kids and I’m not about to risk leaving a place that I’m getting income, and that my boss is doing everything she can to help me, to go to a temporary place, where I may get work for two weeks, and I may or may not become permanent,” Clark said. “I can’t live like that.”
So she keeps applying for jobs, looking for her Section 8 approval, thinking of other ways to survive.
“I just want to have something permanent so my kids are stable and I’m not moving them,” she said. “I don’t want to go backward.”
Kathleen Burge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.