Because we feel it is important that you know how and where your donations to Helping Hands are spent, here is what was done last week:
Electric 8 families $ 3,864.71
Water 3 families $ 1,459.97
Rent 17 families $ 21,986.53
Total $ 27,311.21
We receive many, many calls for assistance with rent. Most of the time those asking for help are put in that situation due to circumstances over which they have no control. Some examples:
Jerome had been working long hours and bringing home $1300 weekly after taxes. But then was laid off last December, and when his company rehired him last month, he found that his hours and his wages were cut. He now brings home $600 each week. He and his family are scrambling to readjust their lifestyle to the reduction in wages, and they are looking for more affordable housing. They needed a little help with their rent this month and we were happy to help them.
Nora is a single mother of 5. Her ex-husband had faithfully paid the rent on her house since their divorce however he was laid off two months ago and, without income, was unable to help her. She works cleaning houses so that she can adjust her schedule to meet the needs of her children, and the job affords her enough money to pay the utility bills and put food on the table. But she could not pay the rent. She received an eviction notice to vacate the house and in desperation she called us. When we met with her, she told us that her ex-husband had recently been rehired and is to start working in two days. She is confident he will begin assisting her again just as soon as his checks start rolling in. Of course, we helped her.
Angela shares an apartment with her sister and brother. She is a full time student at Midland College and has a part time job. Her sister works for a drycleaner. Together the three of them had been able to pay the rent each month. But her brother was laid off one month ago and has yet to find another job. The two sisters were unable to make up the difference. We were able to help them with rent.
Brenda is on disability but when her rent was increased she felt she needed to find some kind of supplemental income to be able to keep her apartment. She was told she could take a part time job and earn a certain amount of money and still keep her disability. But with the shortage of workers during the holiday season she ended up working extra hours to fill in the gap. As a result she earned more money that was anticipated, and Social Security is holding her March and April checks to pay back the overage. She was able to pay her March rent and we helped her with April. Once her checks resume in May she will be out of the hole and will keep a more watchful eye on her supplemental income.
We still think we are beginning to see an economic upswing in our roller-coaster economy. It brings us great joy to be able to help as many people as we can during these trying times. We thank all of you who make that help possible through your continued care and support of the poor through Helping Hands. God bless you!
HELPING HANDS TRUCK AT ST. STEPHEN’S NEXT SATURDAY
Our truck will be in the parking lot of St. Stephen’s next Saturday from 9 am until 1 pm to collect any donations you might want to drop off. The St. Stephen’s Knights of Columbus will be manning the trucks and will be available to give out tax receipts for your donations. We ask that you bring donations of furniture directly to Helping Hands. The truck will be at St. Ann’s on Saturday, April 17 from 9 am until 1 pm