From the desk of CEO Judy Halper: October 2017

From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper

Have you heard the good news—unemployment is at 4 percent in Minnesota! But before we break out the champagne, release the confetti and balloons and begin the parade, I should mention that it’s a bit premature to celebrate.


I hesitate to be the “killjoy,” but news about unemployment, or strides in the stock market and the strength of the American economy does not tell the full story of our community. In fact, it’s important to remember that unfortunately not all of us are doing substantially better.


Judy HalperStories of real hardship matter a lot during times like these. Read beyond the headlines and you will see that many people’s monthly budgets are still stretched to the max as they contend with less than cost-of-living wage increases and basic needs costs that continue to increase at steep levels. Hurricanes and other disasters have driven up the cost of fuel, which results in everything becoming more expensive due to transportation/shipping costs. You may be surprised to learn that at JFCS, we’re seeing a rise in requests for help.


The new JFCS Fall Directions newsletter features a story on our Food and Basic Needs programs and the extensive assistance we had the privilege to provide to a single mom who suffered a work-related injury. She received support and a variety of resources, some directly from JFCS and some provided by our referrals. We were extremely pleased when she told our staff that no one helped her family more than JFCS! That’s great to hear and a powerful reminder that even when we hear or read about things getting better, we remember our work is never done.


There will be people who need help from time to time in every community, due to all kinds of circumstances. It is true for all of us. I can pretty much guarantee that the horrific wildfires in California and the devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico did not discriminate when it came to displacing people, ruining homes, and poisoning drinking water. It could have happened to any of us or people we know.


That’s why I urge you join with JFCS in building a strong safety net for people in need. Help us to ensure that everyone who wants to work can get a job; everyone who needs to feel safer can achieve this goal; everyone who needs support and healing can receive mental health assistance; every child can have a mentor and adults in his/her life who is there for them, and so much more. If you haven’t already done so, please contribute to JFCS’ GIVE 2017 campaign, or let us know of your interest in volunteering, and we’ll help you find a place to make a difference.


Our tagline is “Here for All. Always.” That’s our plan, and you are a big part of it!