From food resources to birthday presents, JFCS delivers holistically in family’s time of need

Beth, a single mother of four young children, had just moved into an apartment after experiencing homelessness and a recent divorce. She was referred to our ACT Program by a social worker at her oldest child’s elementary school, who requested help accessing free or low-cost furniture and household items for the family’s new home.

Beth was thrilled to have her own apartment, but was basically starting from scratch and identified that she needed items like silverware, pots and pans, towels, pillows, etc. She also wasn’t familiar with her new neighborhood and didn’t know how/where to access a food shelf. On top of this, she was grieving the death of her mother in late March and not able to grieve in a traditional manner due to the pandemic.

Struggling financially, Beth was in the midst of job searching when she was referred to JFCS. She got to see first-hand how JFCS is able to serve clients in many capacities thanks to our 30+ programs. Our Food Security program was able to refer her family to several resources to access nearby food shelves and free school meals. Our Hag Sameach Beyond the Holidays program was able to furnish Beth with the household items she needed in her new place. She was so appreciative and expressed gratitude for the pillows, saying she had not been sleeping well.

During a check-in a few weeks later, Beth told ACT Program Manager Laura Gorke that she had found a job, but was stressed because her third-grade son’s birthday was coming up, she didn’t have anything to help him celebrate and she wasn’t going to receive her first paycheck until after it passed. After hearing this, Laura put a request into Hag Sameach Coordinator Mindy Teele to see if the program had anything to help him celebrate his birthday. Mindy got information on his hobbies and interests and Laura delivered birthday presents to Beth’s doorstep less than 24 hours later.

“My client was over the moon,” Laura said. “Life during COVID-19 has made it that much harder for under-resourced families to access necessities. Through collaboration of multiple programs, JFCS was able to provide this family critical items and much needed support in their time of need.”