Graduate Success Stories


Josh & Lauren

Josh and Lauren were sleeping on couches and floors in the home of a church friend before they came to Hillcrest. They had just returned home to Kansas City after leaving for an out-of-state job opportunity that fell through. Josh and Lauren were young and had never been taught how to live on a budget. With two small boys, they knew they needed some help to get back on their feet.

Beginning on their first day at Hillcrest, they were soaked up every piece of advice they were offered by staff and volunteers. Some days Josh and Lauren would pass each other coming and going from work, handing the boys off to each other with a kiss goodbye. Their hard work and dedication to the budgeting process resulted in great success. They used the entire amount of their yearly tax refund to pay off several debts. They are the top Hillcrest family when it comes to debt paid off!



Though Tina had put her history of drug abuse behind her, she relapsed while married to another former user. As charges piled up against her and her husband became more controlling, Tina finally had the motivation she needed to lay down drugs forever.

A former Hillcrest Resident Manager promised Tina results in exchange for dedication to the program; so, Tina worked two jobs while at Hillcrest and visited with her two boys on the weekends in her small apartment. After graduation from our program, Tina moved into her own place with all three of her kids under one roof.

She works at a Clinton, Missouri hospital in her dream job as a social worker. Tina’s dedication while at Hillcrest meant having her family together and safe! Tina says that God watched over her and gave her the strength to press forward in this program.


National Guard Soldier Jeremiah and his young daughter Jasmine moved into Hillcrest after living in a small home with 26 people. Despite the difficulty they faced, Jeremiah was a gentle and patient father with full custody of his daughter. Jasmine was extremely shy around others and would talk only through her father.

Jeremiah took to budgeting like a professional and was able to satisfy debt, repair errors on his credit report, improve relationships with his family and even purchase a car. In addition to his National Guard commitments, Jeremiah continued working full-time. He and Jasmine moved out into their own apartment. Jeremiah feels confident and relieved to provide for himself and his daughter.


Kim came to Hillcrest as the single mother of 10-year-old KiAndrea. When she lost her full-time job and got behind on her rent, she picked up two part-time jobs. Still, it was not enough and Kim and KiAndrea were evicted from their home.

While at Hillcrest, Kim worked full-time, held a second part-time job, and went to school for medical coding and billing. Kim maintained an incredibly positive attitude and pushed through every barrier that presented itself. She and KiAndrea are now living in their own place right across the street from KiAndrea’s school.


Kelsey’s life turned upside-down at age 23 when her mother passed away. The immediate family fell apart as Kelsey struggled through a period of depression. She is the primary breadwinner for her two daughters, but they were evicted from their apartment after getting behind on rent. Kelsey’s family of three stayed with her sister as a temporary fix, but there was not enough room, which led to Kelsey putting in an application at Hillcrest.

Kelsey used her three months in the program to pay off all debt—primarily past due rent and utilities. She and her darling daughters received clothing and furniture from the Hillcrest thrift store and from her sponsor. Kelsey continued her work at a local car dealership where she made money on commission. She improved her performance to earn top-level commission checks. Now Kelsey rents her own apartment where she can take good care of her family.



Rachel found Hillcrest in the nick of time. She was living with her family who was ready to kick her out when her application came up at Hillcrest. During the program Rachel learned to distinguish needs and wants. She also developed a deep respect for her case manager, whose high expectations compelled Rachel to dedicate herself to success, or as she puts it, “I worked my tail off!”

Rachel and four-year-old son Kaiden moved out with a whole apartment’s worth of furniture donated by Hillcrest. Now she volunteers as secretary of a church plant down the street from her home. Rachel continues to work full-time at a call center and care for her family.

Rachel is simply thrilled that Hillcrest empowered her to make a positive change for herself and her son.


“To describe what it’s like to be homeless… you don’t want to go there. It’s a place you don’t ever think you’re going to be. When you find yourself there, you feel hopeless. It’s exhausting, confusing – it’s all of those things.” View Robin’s story: