Campus of Change

Ending Homelessness in the Fox Valley

Becoming Self-Sufficient

Posted on Jul 27, 2016 by

COTS resident furthers her life while giving back

“I heard there was a lot of help here,” says Eleanor of her decision to apply to COTS. Eleanor heard about COTS while living in Appleton, but didn’t apply until it was time for her release from prison. She grew up in a small family. Because all of her siblings live out of state, she didn’t have a social support network to fall back on. Instead, she turned to COTS.

Eleanor moved into COTS in late March and hit the ground running. She quickly found a job and learned about ways to further her education. Eleanor has two Associates degrees, but doesn’t have the computer skills needed to be competitive.

Eleanor says Kelly Kohl, Education Advocate at Fox Valley Technical College, “is the whole reason I’m in school.” Kelly comes to the COTS Men’s and Women’s campuses each week in order to help connect our residents with educational resources at FVTC. Eleanor is the first member of her family to go to college, and now she encourages her nieces and nephews to do the same. And when they ask her how to balance work and school, she simply shows them her schedule so that they know they can do it, too.

In addition to work and school, Eleanor enjoys giving back by volunteering at Riverview Gardens. Her goal is to finish school and move into a full-time career as an administrative assistant. “I’m saving as much money as I can,” she grins.

“I’m doing everything I can to be self-sufficient. I appreciate the helping hand and I’m doing everything I can do move on. It’s great that [COTS] exists—I don’t know if I would be as successful as I am today without this help. I’m looking forward to getting my own place and giving this bed to someone else who needs it!”