Denied Food Stamps and Medicaid, this Texas Freelancer Uses UpTogether Funds to Payoff Debts

Inspired by her favorite movie, ‘13 Going on 30’, Lexia started college in Houston as a journalism major intent on having a dream job as a magazine editor, like the character played by actress Jennifer Garner in the film. 

“Then I realized, magazines kinda aren’t hot right now,” Lexia admitted once recognizing the change in how people were consuming information and entertainment.

So this California native who moved to Austin, Texas, at five years old, decided to move from magazines to public relations or advertising to broaden her career options. Lexia graduated and returned to Austin where she currently resides. She pursued work for a nonprofit and once she reached that goal, she was hungry for more. Lexia currently works in online customer support while contemplating adding another job skill to her experience.

“I’m thinking about doing freelance and starting part-time for social media management,” she said about her next potential move.

Lexia’s path crossed with UpTogether during the pandemic when her mother encouraged her to look into cash assistance related to COVID-19 challenges.

“My mom’s coworker told her about UpTogether. She told me she didn’t think she would qualify so I filled out the application and was selected for the COVID-19 relief funds,” Lexia recalled. 

Months later she received an email saying she also was eligible for the Central Texas Fund where she would receive 12 monthly cash investments from UpTogether.

“I was super shocked of course. I tried to qualify for food stamps, Medicaid, and things like that, and I never qualified. I was just really grateful and surprised honestly,” she said.

Lexia qualified for the UpTogether funds and was trusted to spend the money however she wanted without needing to pay it back.   

“It helped me save some money, for sure. It helped me pay off some outstanding bills, and be able to help my family a little bit more. It really is just a blessing. A lot of places just aren’t giving up free money,” she said when asked about the impact of the monthly investments. 

Lexia went on to share that it was a relief for her to be able to pay off debts, add to her savings, and contribute to her family household. She said it also created space for her to plan, budget, and be mindful about her spending moving forward.

“I was very strategic on what I used the money for because I knew it wouldn’t be permanent,” said Lexia. “I had to make sure I was using everything with intention and making sure I’m not exhausting everything else by only relying on the fund.”

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