Valley agency helps people struggling to pay bills

Posted: Updated:

MESA -- So many Valley families are having a difficult time. Usually, it starts with being laid off and from there it snowballs out of control because you can't pay your bills or maybe you can't afford groceries.

Janet Kelley said when she and her husband and their five kids moved into their Mesa home, life was perfect.

"We moved here over two years ago," Janet Kelley said. "It was a dream come true, we thought."

Community Information & Referral Arizona Community Action Association Arizona 2-1-1 Arizona Self Help Home Energy Assistance Fund

But like many families in the Valley, the unexpected happened.

"My husband was laid off three and a half months ago," she said.

Since then the only income they've had is from unemployment benefits and while they appreciate it, it's barely getting them by.

"Unemployment can't cover your bills," she said.

As a result, the couple are now losing their home and struggling to pay bills. Nearing their breaking point, Kelley reached out.

"I waited three months before I asked for any kind of help because I was still hopeful for something," Kelley said.

That's when Kelley went to A New Leaf Mesa Community Action Network to get some help.

"They offered a food box, they offer utility assistance, they help with rent, moving expenses," she said.

A New Leaf Mesa Community Action Network is an agency that provides help in a number of ways for people, especially for those who once worked but now need a helping hand.

"This has actually helped more than a little bit," she said. "Nobody knows the hope it gives you."

Kelley said actually taking the first step to ask for help was the most difficult thing to do. That's why she wants people to know if you're in a similar situation, don't be too proud.

"To get up, humble yourself, walk in a door, and see if you can get help because you don't have a choice," she said.

She said the help she's received there has been a ray of sunshine and has given her and her family hope.

"When I was told I would get utility assistance, I went home and it felt like it was the happiest week ever," Kelley said. "We're trying to just keep the hope and trying not to get too discouraged."