Roy and his wife Patricia are proud of their academically talented teenage granddaughter who they’ve been raising since she was a toddler. Though Interfaith Outreach has only assisted the family in small ways, stretching the food budget or helping with a few bills, they are eager to speak on the organization’s behalf.
“I’m not good with words,” he says. “But people do get in jams — if you don’t have it, you don’t have it — so it’s nice when you find friendly people to turn to.”
IOA’s Emergency Assistance staff see every type of “jam.” For example, many working people have no sick leave, personal days, nearby relatives, or savings to fall back on.
“When they lose a day, they lose the pay. If a child is too sick to go to daycare, what can you do? You fall behind.”
Interfaith’s application process requires information about household income and expenses. After the information is verified, the organization is able to offer monetary assistance, without giving directly to the client, once every twelve months. For families facing evictions or utility cutoffs, this one-time contribution is often enough to keep them moving forward.
Emergency funding is essential, but so is the welcoming atmosphere and personal contact. “Ordinarily, I wouldn’t tell everything that I was going through,” says Celestine who is caring for three great-grandchildren. “But the Interfaith people were so beautiful, I didn’t mind talking. They are God-sent. They took time and got me on track with all the help I needed.”