My Kids Are My Life

SPIN stepped in when Joseph Garcia and his two children needed a helping hand

Loving fathers like Joseph Garcia – who could use a hand up, not a handout – are exactly why SPIN was established.

Several years ago, Garcia was locked in the fight of his life as he sought full legal custody of his son and daughter, who were 7 and 4 at the time.

His attorney pushed for a compromise with his ex-wife, but that was a non-starter for Garcia: He knew his kids would be better off living with him in a stable, loving environment.

Garcia fired his attorney and headed to court. Alone.

For months he sat and listened to court proceedings, observing closely and taking notes, learning how lawyers represent their clients.

Armed with this insight, Garcia went back to court seeking full custody of his children – this time representing himself.

It took three years total, but he won.

At the time the court granted him custody, Garcia was renting a single room. It was tight, to say the least, when his children moved in, but the family couldn’t have been happier.

Still, Garcia knew he needed to find a place quickly. He looked around for days but everything was too expensive.

Enter SPIN.

“They were amazing,” Garcia says.

“They helped me find a one-bedroom apartment and paid the first and last month’s rent and then several more months until I could get on my feet.”

SPIN also paid for Garcia’s schooling and provided counseling in financial literacy. He earned his fire inspector license and got a job with a private company. Not long after, SPIN gave Garcia a heads-up about a three bedroom apartment that was in his affordability range.

“My kids each have their own bedroom, but they still like to come and sleep with me once in a while,” Garcia says, smiling broadly.

“SPIN has stepped up above and beyond for me and my kids,” he says. “I feel so blessed to have had their help along the way. My kids are doing great. They’ve had to learn to do without certain things, but that has helped them to understand what’s important.”

Garcia says the same is true of him, adding, “My kids are my life.”