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OUR IMPACT

CLIENT PARTNER SPOTLIGHTS
Meet some of the Fountain Fund's Client Partners who have changed their lives

KRIS HENDERSON, Charlottesville

As a father of four, Kris Henderson is determined to build a career that creates lasting opportunities for his family. For many years, Henderson worked in construction — operating a cement mixing truck, laying foundations, and pouring asphalt. He gained valuable experience, but previous convictions prevented advancement. So in 2016, Henderson returned to school, obtained a Commercial Driver’s License and prepared to start his own company.

 

He explored traditional loans for a truck, but couldn’t secure funds even though he already had some capital in savings. It was during this stressful phase that he discovered the Fountain Fund, and it was the perfect fit. 

 

“The Fountain Fund is a tool that’s there to help you build your vision. Take advantage of it. It’s a great resource,” he explains. “And don’t use a conviction as an excuse. Don’t let anything hold you back. It may not all work out on your time frame – because sometimes ‘Life be life-in’!’ — but stick with it.”

Today, Henderson’s business is going strong. While the majority of his clients are in Charlottesville, he occasionally works as far afield as Richmond and Staunton.

 

Owning a business carries many responsibilities, but Henderson wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love having something that’s my own and knowing that I give good service to my clients. That connection makes all the difference.”

 

Henderson & Sons Freight Hauling is available for all your hauling needs. To find out more, call: 434-466-7314.

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HEATHER JORDAN, Richmond

When Heather Jordan describes reentry into society, one thing is crystal clear, the 17 months that she spent in a recovery house were vital to her survival. It was this life-changing experience that led her to become a Peer Support Specialist, obtain certification as a Substance Abuse Counseling Assistant, and ultimately, create her own recovery house called The Sky is the Limit in Chesterfield, Virginia. 

 

Initially, Jordan only had the space to serve two clients. Today, with the support of a Fountain Fund loan, she is able to serve 12! Long-term, she hopes to increase capacity — by adding staff and another home — so that those who are struggling with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues can find a safe place to heal. One of the most important elements of recovery, Jordan shares, “is helping individuals begin to believe in themselves — to build their self-esteem — so they recognize their worth.” She is living proof that someone can break the intergenerational cycle of addiction and build a new life. “Until you get the chance to live a ‘sober’ life,” she says, “you have no idea what’s possible.” The Sky is the Limit provides that opportunity.

 

When describing her work, Jordan shares with gratitude and quiet determination, “It’s the life I always wanted, because I’m helping people who want to help themselves. There’s no bigger WIN for me.”

 

Are you struggling with co-occurring mental health & addiction issues? Call Heather Jordan to learn more about offerings.

 

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT

804.332.4594

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Businesses
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Troy Robinson and Order Up!

Equifax created a photo essay about one of our Client Partners and former employees, Troy Robinson. It also features Paul Yates, the Fountain Fund's National Director of Economic Empowerment. We're excited to receive this recognition — it's great for us and for Troy's business, Order Up!

Individuals

CHARISSE BECNEL, New Orleans

Charisse Becnel, a 30-year-old, single mother, had nearly completed her nursing degree, but an inability to cover outstanding college expenses nearly derailed her dream.

 

“I had been paying tuition out of pocket, and it was so hard,” says Becnel. With two young boys, the financial and emotional stresses felt insurmountable, so she turned to her DCFS caseworker to explore other resources. That single conversation created a bridge to the Fountain Fund, and shortly thereafter, Becnel secured an academic loan, paid off the remaining tuition and set herself up for success. 

Despite the many setbacks between 2019-2023, Becnel remarks, “It was all such a blessing, even the hard parts. Because everything finally fell into place.” One word she would use to describe walking across the graduation stage? SHOCK! “It still doesn’t feel real. I couldn’t believe it was happening.” 

Since then, Becnel has been hired as an RN with Ochsner Health and has paid her loan off in full. When describing the best parts of being a nurse, her voice lights up. “I love it when my patients feel seen and heard. Some people are sick for a very long time and they have given up hope. When you give patients the best care, they see you like family.” 

For those facing adversity, Becnel offers these wise words: 

“Your struggle is temporary. Pray. Seek out others. Don’t feel ashamed. Don’t hold it in. You never know who might be a blessing in disguise.” 

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DORMEN LISBY, Philadelphia

Dormen Lisby is a Renaissance man: an artist, a writer, a teacher, a mentor. 

As a Program Facilitator with Shining Light, he brings brings “evidence-based practices of positive psychology/ character strengths” into the nation’s prisons. Working with professors, therapists and actors, he helps those who are incarcerated find their voice. And he knows these offerings are transformative and life-affirming, because they changed his. 

Lisby spent nearly 26 years in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. He faced immense obstacles upon reentry, but as Lisby likes to say, “For every door that’s closed, there’s a bigger door waiting to open.” 

While exploring jobs and starting a small arts business, he quickly realized that having a reliable car would be key. He also knew that traditional financing would be impossible. “I don’t believe any of society’s banking systems would have provided me with a loan,” he says. “To those systems, I didn’t exist prior to 2022.” 

That’s where the Fountain Fund stepped in with an auto loan to help him on his journey. “They walk you through every step of the process,” says Lisby. “They’re transparent. They ask tough questions, but they want you to succeed.” Looking back, he remarks, “It wasn’t the loan that was the most important, it was the relationships.” 

Lisby is now the proud owner of “Maxine,” a car that does triple duty – providing essential transportation for work, allowing him to participate in exhibits like the Black Boy Art Show, and helping him care for family. 

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Client Partner Connections
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

Monthly gatherings bring Client Partners and Fountain Fund staff together for conversation, providing opportunities to listen, learn and build community.

 

These Client Partner Connections meetings are another way the Fund supports its partners and creates opportunities for partners to draw strength from one another.

Client Partner Connections meeting
Client Partner Connections
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