Susan Hodgdon – Boothbay

Susan Hodgdon

Susan Hodgdon, MidCoast Graduate

A Difficult Place

Susan Hodgdon was in a difficult place. A series of unforeseen financial setbacks had put her at risk of losing her life’s investment, her home of 30 years. Always a hard worker, in the past she relied on part-time and seasonal work in her hometown. But now, to stay on the peninsula, she needed full-time employment.

The Turning Point

Three Midcoast agencies, Boothbay Region Community Resources Council, CEI, and New Ventures Maine helped Susan turn things around and find financial stability.

Susan first contacted Boothbay Region Community Navigator (BRCN) during an especially challenging winter. She was unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. Funds were short to pay for fuel and repair her kerosene heating system after it broke down. “They provided us with fuel and wood, which was a godsend,” and referred Susan to other local sources of support.

Over the next few years, Susan juggled seasonal and part-time jobs while continuing to apply and interview for a full-time position. Setback after setback put her in financial jeopardy. She found full-time work, but she was laid off after less than a year when her company fell upon hard times. The 25-hour per week job which followed included benefits but was not enough to pay the bills.

“Poor luck became even worse when my car broke down right after Christmas. I was two months behind in every bill I had including my mortgage. I had to use a mortgage payment as a down payment on a new (used) car.” Susan applied to modify her mortgage. When the process stalled, BRCN and CEI intervened to help cut her mortgage payments in half. “A great relief,” she said, “I wouldn’t be losing my home.”

Working With New Ventures Maine

Next, Susan set up a career counseling appointment with New Ventures Maine. “New Ventures helped me tweak my resume and cover letter, prepare for interviews, go over my household budget, identify new job hunting resources, connect to funding for more education … and gave me a vote of confidence that I would find that job.”

Initiative and Persistence

With initiative and persistence, in August 2017, Susan found the job she was seeking. She has a full-time position and earns a livable wage as an administrative assistant at a yacht brokerage in coastal Maine. Susan advises others in situations like hers: “Be confident in your abilities. Most of all, be yourself. Plus, don’t ever, ever give up.”

Says Susan, “I definitely feel like I have turned a corner. I sleep better, I am much happier, and most importantly I can pay my bills. It is still a week to week prospect, but I hope to use the budgeting skills New Ventures taught me to start a savings account and pay down my student loan.”