LaToya’s Story: HFUW’s OUC Project CARE Program Shine’s a Light in LaToya’s Life


Meet LaToya Pugh, a single mother of two daughters who called Heart of Florida United Way’s 211 Information and Referral Crisis Line in her darkest hour.   

LaToya had lost her job and began living off her savings, which led to her falling behind on her bills. When she struggled to pay her utility bill, LaToya would cook extra meals with the expectation that her utilities would soon get disconnected. 

Then, LaToya heard about Heart of Florida United Way and called our 211 Information and Referral Crisis Line for help. Our 211 Crisis Services Manager Nicole answered LaToya’s call, listened to her needs, and connected her to the OUC Project CARE program to help pay her utility bill. 

LaToya was already given an extension and was anxious her utility bill wouldn’t be paid on time, but then her phone rang. It was Nicole calling to let LaToya know that her utility bill had been paid thanks to OUC Project CareCare. “It was the best feeling ever,” said LaToya.   

With the help of the OUC Project CARE program, we were able to give LaToya the leeway she needed to seek full-time employment again. 

Watch this video to hear LaToya share her story.