“I never expected to be in a position where I would need to accept help from a charity.”
These are the words of one of our rental assistance clients who addressed a group of supporters at our 4th Annual Golf Outing this year. They are words we hear almost every day from families in need of help.
“I am 51 years old, have been happily married for 23 years and have two daughters. [My] husband and I have sacrificed to put [them] through catholic schools. I am a college graduate, and neither I nor my husband has ever been out of work…we’ve both worked far more than 40 hour weeks, often at more than one job at a time, while coaching, volunteering at our church and children’s school and doing all the other things that most people do in order to make ends meet and raise a family…We’ve never lived an extravagant life, but we have always been able to pay our bills.”
So many of the families we serve share the same story. They’ve struggled to get by but always managed to keep their head above water. Many times, these families have not had the advantage of college or a supportive family, but do their best and work hard to take care of the families they love.
“During the past year, my husband’s business suffered a temporary setback…It was a few weeks before Christmas and everything seemed to go wrong at once. The mortgage wasn’t paid, the furnace stopped working, my daughter’s college applications were due and for the first time in my life, I felt desperation.”
A common misconception about people in need is that they are looking for a “hand-out”. The reality is that asking for help is a humbling and frightening experience. Often these are hardworking people who could have never anticipated the events that lead them to a financial crisis. An illness, a job loss, a death in the family can devastate families who are already struggling to get by.
“A friend, a fairy godmother, brought me to Interfaith…It’s not easy to ask for help when you have never had to ask before. It’s difficult to pour your heart out to someone you’ve never met and lay open the intimate details of your failing finances…They paid my mortgage, offered Christmas gifts for my girls and gift cards for food. When I got out to my car, I thanked God and cried.”
This is the work we’ve done for 26 years. When you make a donation, please know that 97 cents out of every dollar goes directly to support those we serve. Your donation truly makes an impact on families who are struggling to stay afloat.
We thank you for your support, your compassion, and your prayers.
At the heart of Interfaith Neighbors' beginnings over a quarter century ago was the desire to support low income families and prevent them from becoming homeless. This mission continues to be an essential part of our operations today.
Each month, we get the word out to supporters – including a core group of churches and synagogues –by sharing the story of one of the more than 250 families helped with rental or mortgage assistance each year. Here are just a few of those stories.
Interfaith Neighbors assisted a man and his wife when he was involved in a car accident that left him seriously injured and unable to work. They incurred a significant amount of medical bills and had to wait many weeks before receiving any disability benefits. Interfaith Neighbors helped them with two months of rental assistance in order to avoid an eviction. He is now receiving monthly benefits and his wife has obtained a full-time job to help pay their monthly bills.
Recently, Interfaith Neighbors helped a single father who was undergoing dialysis as well as facing other serious health issues. He is also raising two daughters, one with a physical disability that requires specialized treatment. He was unable to work for several weeks. The father was granted rental assistance in order to avoid eviction. He has now returned to work and the family is most grateful for the assistance.
Interfaith Neighbors could not help these families without the generosity of our many supporters and friends. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all you do!
The staff here at Interfaith Neighbors work with families of all kinds who are facing a crisis moment in their lives. Some families are rocked by a job loss or the death of a loved one, while others are facing a daunting medical diagnosis. It is heartbreaking to us that in the midst of these difficulties, affected families are also faced with the threat of losing their homes.
Recently, Interfaith Neighbors assisted a man and his family after he received a diagnosis of advanced stage breast cancer. He has a wife and teenage daughter. As a result of his medical costs and treatment, he was unable to pay the rent and they faced imminent eviction and homelessness.Interfaith Neighbors helped with two months of back rent. His financial situation is now stsable while he continues treatment.
Interfaith Neighbors also recently assisted a man and his wife when he was involved in a car accident that left him seriously injured and unable to work. They incurred a significant amount of medical bills and had to wait many weeks before receiving any disability benefits. Interfaith Neighbors helped them with two months of rental assistance in order to avoid an eviction. He is now receiving monthly benefits and his wife has obtained a full-time job to help pay their monthly bills.
We cannot solve every problem, but we can help in ways that ease the burdens of those who are suffering. Please help us with any size gift. And remember, 97 cents out of every dollar donated goes directly to help those we serve!
2013 has come to a close, and it will remain in our memories as a transformative year. We saw the retirement of Nancy Flanigan, our Director of Rental Assistance for the past 24 years, and we welcomed Maura Comer as she has gracefully stepped into this position. It is humbling to report that even during this transition, we served more families than ever before in our 25 year history. More than 300 families received assistance from Interfaith Neighbors this year. This is not a number we report to you with pride, but with a sober acknowledgement of the harsh reality faced by working poor families in Monmouth County.
In addition to our regular services, Interfaith Neighbors received a grant from the County of Monmouth to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy. The purpose of this grant was to help those impacted by the storm with rental and mortgage assistance and to help replace personal property. In just two months, Interfaith Neighbors provided assistance to over 65 families. Many of these families were facing extreme financial distress, having to pay for both a mortgage and rent while their primary residence was being repaired. Many of these families lost all of their worldly posessions. And many have faced the challenges of rebuilding not just their homes, but their lives. We are grateful to have been able to assist these families in their time of need.
With the start of a new year, we continue to help meet the challenges faced by our clients. We have begun to receive requests for assistance from those who have had unemployment benefits cut, which often just barely helped our clients keep their head above water. The vast economic challenges of recent years have not been alleviated for the lowest income families, who still continue to struggle to make ends meet.
There is much work to be done, but we can't do it without your help. Please consider making a donation to help those who are most in need. Remember, 97 cents out of every donated dollar goes directly to help those we serve.
Thank you for your support!
Interfaith Neighbors has helped over 200 families in 2013. Many of these families have come to us because of the devastation they have faced as a result of Hurricane Sandy. However, we continue to serve working poor families throughout Monmouth County who are on the brink of homelessness.
Interfaith Neighbors recently helped a father who was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition that has left him legally blind. He had to leave his job as a result. During the same time, he and his wife were asked to raise his infant nephew. The wife had to miss time from work to care for both her husband and the baby and fell behind with their rent. They also have a twelve year old daughter. The family was granted help with their back rent and avoided eviction and homelessness. They are most grateful for the assistance.
Interfaith also assisted a family in crisis because their young daughter became ill and they had no medical insurance. They were granted rental assistance to avoid eviction and homelessness. The father now has a new job that provides medical coverage for the family.
These are just a few examples of struggling families who need just a little boost to help them stay in their homes and avoid homelessness. We serve hundreds of families just like this each year, and your help means so much when these families become financially stable and are able to put the crisis behind them. Please continue to support Interfaith Neighbors and the people we serve. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you!
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