Mentors help Bridge clients succeed
Bob and Lainie Deist mentor a family in the Bridge program. Their support ranges from "finding food pantries nearby the new home to helping to negotiate debts with the family's consent to reduce the amount owed," Lainie said. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:38AM
HINSDALE — The Deists of Hinsdale are halfway through two years of mentoring a family with 10 children who faced eviction from their Hinsdale apartment.
Their main responsibility has been helping the parents prepare a budget and stick to it. The family, who does not want their names used, lives in a house in Glendale Heights provided by Bridge. They pay the utilities, but not rent.
The mother said her husband was out of work for nine months between October 2009 and June 2010. When her husband did find a new job, it paid $7 an hour less than he previously earned.
Since then, they built up a lot of credit card debt, their van was repossessed and her husband was unable to renew his drivers license because of unpaid parking tickets.
The mentors prepared a budget that, with the help of federal assistance and Bridge donations, the family could live on, plus reduce their debt and save some money.
“They have to do without a lot of little things, which to them are not little, like going to McDonald’s or ordering a pizza,” Laine Deist said. “There’s a budget for those kind of things, but it’s very small.”
“It’s tough when all your clothes have to come from Goodwill and the Salvation Army,” Lainie Deist said.
The 40-year-old mother said it’s hard having someone else control your finances, “when you’ve been on your own for years.”
“I just have to be more disciplined,” she said. “We will still try to keep up what we have learned. That’s the goal, we won’t get in this predicament again.”