The Call That Changed Her Life

With a full time job and living in a stable home with her two children and her father Adriana Lopez Carrillo feels grateful for what she has and doesn’t take it for granted.Yet it wasn’t always like this for Adriana.

In January 2018, without a job, stable home, and adequate transportation, Adriana felt overwhelmed. During a turbulent interaction with her husband, Adriana feared for her safety and called the police. This call led to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) opening a case on her family.

As a result, she was required to participate in the Family Preservation Program provided by El Centro de Amistad and monitored by DCFS. Staff work with families to identify their strengths and support them in resolving child safety concerns, advocating for themselves, establishing connections to community resources and other supports to preserve the family unit. One of the primary goals of this program is to increase the family’s self-sufficiency and to reduce reliance on public agencies.

Adriana credits Monica Vidal, ECDA in-home outreach counselor, for her growth. Her individual therapy has been the best support. While she thought, at first she was judging her, “she made me realize it’s not judgment. She wants me to do better. [Monica] does her job with love and dedication

“Ms. Adriana has been open to feedback and implements everything she has been learning from all of her classes and groups,” said Monica. “She has been working on becoming independent and also learning about healthy relationships. I have seen Ms. Adriana grow and learn to set boundaries with others and step out of her comfort zone.”

“With Monica’s support, “I developed into a better person and it has helped me with my skills.” El Centro de Amistad staff have supported Adriana in numerous ways, teaching her how to manage money, helping her apply for Section 8 Housing Voucher, and providing Christmas gifts, food, and furniture for her apartment, including a crib and high chair for her baby.

Adriana is quick to acknowledge her support staff’s impact on her life and credits them for what she has. While we know it takes a village to build a network of support, we know Adriana is at the cause of empowering herself. She sees the potential of a better future for herself and that of her family. There’s nothing stopping Adriana, who has set her sights on becoming a manager at the Chipotle Mexican Grill.