Mark V. always struggled with managing his money before he came to Blueprints. If he could give any advice to his younger self, it would be to save part of his income when he was a truck driver. When he lost his job as a truck driver, Mark had nothing to his name.  He became involved in criminal activities and was incarcerated for nine months. After his release, he was living at the City Mission’s homeless shelter when he came to Blueprints for help with getting an apartment.

Mark participated in Blueprints’ Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program funded by Washington County Human Services through the PA Department of Community & Economic Development.  Through ESG, some homeless clients can have their rent and/or utilities paid for them as they work towards housing self-sufficiency. While Blueprints was able to pay Mark’s rent, Mark would deposit the amount that would normally go toward rent into his savings. This helped Mark practice paying his full rent and establishing a household budget with savings.

When he and Jasman completed his first budget for his monthly bills and spending, including the full price of rent, Mark was shocked. When he saw that if he was frugal and stuck to his plan, he would reach his goals and become financially stable, relief and a newfound sense of freedom overwhelmed him. “A budget will open a door for you,” he said. “You’ll see where money is being spent foolishly and how it can be used more wisely for future goals.”

By sticking to his monthly budget, Mark was able to save $2,700. He used to spend well beyond his means, but now, he only splurges on coffee at a café twice per week. Mark is currently looking into buying a new car and is profoundly grateful for all the help that he has received from Blueprints. He genuinely believes that our imprint on him made all the difference.