When Leslie Goodson and her three sons moved into an Austin homeless shelter, she felt like her world was crumbling. Leslie had overcome a lot already – her first son’s extended hospital stays due to a rare heart condition and the sudden death of her husband. At the time, Leslie’s estranged relationship with her father left her with nowhere else to turn.
“I was devastated,” she said.
Leslie learned about Foundation Communities while at the shelter. With our support, she gradually managed to get back on her feet and provide her family with a safe, affordable place to call home.
After moving into her new apartment, Leslie decided that she wanted to change her life for good and build a better future for herself and her sons. She utilized our onsite support services and took advantage of our financial stability programs.
Leslie has participated in Foundation Communities’ money management classes and one-on-one financial coaching. She also had her taxes prepared for free at our Community Tax Centers and, in August, she joined a brand-new savings program that encourages families to set aside money each month for emergencies.
The 42-year-old single mom said she now knows how to manage her budget, improve her credit score, and save for the future. With the help of her financial coach, Leslie is also actively pursuing her goal of opening a soul food restaurant in Austin.
“I love food and I love the feeling that I get when I feed people and they’re happy,” she said.
In addition to her full-time job as a medical assistant at a local clinic, Leslie spends her time researching other restaurants, coming up with menu ideas, and figuring out pricing. Recently, she catered a few small parties and she is considering the possibility of owning and operating her own food truck.
“With the steps I’m taking, slowly, but surely, I know [my restaurant] is going to be successful,” she said. Leslie said she will continue to work towards her goal, with the hope of one day passing her business on to her sons. In the meantime, the budding entrepreneur says she knows her sons are proud of all the progress she has made financially – and in life.