Homelessness to Hopefulness: Megan Kennedy

Megan Kennedy Photo

Megan is currently the Director of Transitional Housing at the YWCA in Salem, Oregon and has just completed the purchase of her first home through Habitat for Humanity. She used the savings from her IDA account to cover the closing costs associated with the program. However, Megan’s financial security has not always been so bright.

“Since my daughter was born until she was five years old, we struggled with homelessness and poverty. We have lived in cars, shelters, and with friends and family.”

When Megan first began NEDCO’s IDA program she was hesitant to provide her counselor with bank statements and financial information. “I was working full time and had been able to pay my bills monthly, on time. I thought that in doing so, I was financially secure and had my budget figured out. I had no savings and lived month to month.”

However, by working with her financial counselor, Evelyn Menjivar, and tracking each individual expense, she was able to begin to plan for expenses and designate money toward her IDA savings account. Megan took full advantage of the financial education and spending plan tools provided her during her participation in the IDA program.

“As I began using the tools that NEDCO gave me, I found that I was no longer just living each day with the money I had, I was able to pay off all my debt and then take the money and put it into savings. I now have three savings accounts that I pay into monthly, like I was paying a bill.”

One of Megan’s savings accounts is a college fund for her daughter. “I never dreamt that I would be able to help her further her education financially. I struggled just to clothe and feed her.”

Megan’s participation in the IDA program has helped her to become a lifelong saver. “It has been the most amazing journey from homelessness to housing, from financial instability to college funds!”