“I was at the lowest point in my life when I came to ChangingGears; it saved me.” Cathi tears up as she recalls the difficult years she experienced following the loss of her job. She couldn’t find full-time work that paid a living wage; she had exhausted unemployment benefits and tapped into her 401k. Her mother was ill and dying so she made many trips to Columbus, Ohio, where her mom lived, putting strain on her already aging Jeep. Cathi found a part-time restaurant job but wasn’t earning enough to pay her bills. Her daughter moved in with her and helped with the rent. “You never expect to be in a position where your children have to financially take care of you,” she says.
She learned of CityLink through her church. The programs there helped her rebuild her confidence and trust herself again. She found a part-time sales job but it requires her to travel to accounts that range from Maysville, Kentucky, to Springfield, Ohio. Her jeep was, “falling apart, a little at a time,” she says. “It’s by the grace of God that I made it in that car because I got to a point where I never knew when it would break down.”
Once connected to ChangingGears, she quickly completed the ownership classes and her sweat equity. The 2007 Subaru Forester she purchased from ChangingGears, “has been a godsend,” she exclaims. “It has room for my product samples and drives well. I love everything about it.” Without the worry of an unreliable car, she continues to thrive in her sales job. She has set a goal to be in sales full time by next spring and eventually leave the restaurant. “From the lowest point in my life, ChangingGears helped me not only survive but thrive.”