Diagnosed with congenital heart disease at birth, Tiffani has endured countless surgeries during her lifetime.
A year ago, her doctors were alarmed when she could hardly walk across the room and felt constantly weak and tired.
“Cleaning houses was really hard on my body,” Tiffani recalls of the part-time job she held. “I wasn’t making enough to live on. It was a very unstable time in my life.”
Tiffani and her two young daughters didn’t have a place to live. The temporary rental they lived in after Tiffani’s divorce had been condemned, so they were sleeping on a friend’s couch.
-Tiffani, Climb Wyoming Graduate
“The strain and stress were definitely taking a toll on my heart,” Tiffani says. “I decided to call Climb.”
Once her Intro to Professional Careers program began, finding stable housing was a top priority for Tiffani. Climb connected her to several community resources in the Teton Area and helped with the Emergency Rental Assistance Program application process.
With support from Climb staff, Tiffani negotiated the deposit on an apartment. The local Habitat for Humanity helped provide furniture. “I didn’t even own a spoon,” Tiffani says.
Having a safe and secure place to live set her up for a job placement with St. John’s Hospital in Jackson, where she now works as a patient scheduler.
Tiffani’s new career provides her with a self-sufficient wage and benefits, including health insurance, which is critical if she ever needs a heart transplant.
At Tiffani’s last checkup, doctors could immediately see on her echocardiogram that her health had improved without medical intervention because of the greater stability in her life.
She now goes on walks with her daughters. “I love opening the door of our apartment and watching my girls run out to the school bus in the morning. It’s such a simple thing, but it’s not anything I thought I’d be able to do.”