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As a mother of two, Sarah went from housewife to sole supporter of her family in less than a week following the sudden and tragic death of her husband. Not only was his death difficult to bear, but the loss of their main source of income pushed the family into financial hardship.
With no living family around, Sarah faced a reality devoid of support. She put the house up for sale, sold most of their possessions, downgraded her vehicle, took on two part-time jobs, and struggled to find childcare.
One day while speaking with her friend, Joan*, at synagogue, Sarah broke down. Not only had she been dealing with the weight of keeping her family afloat, but she had yet to process her grief. With nowhere and no one to turn to, Sarah was supporting her family on the back of her depression.
Joan, having previously benefitted from family counseling at Jewish Family Service (JFS), referred Sarah to the Agency. Sarah called JFS and scheduled an appointment with a case manager. At first, she had some hesitation on whether or not she could afford any kind of help, having given away most of her belongings to sustain her family. The Case Manager assured her that JFS could be of help, as they do for all members of the Jewish community.
During their first meeting, Sarah and the JFS Case Manager discussed her family’s most immediate needs and began putting together a plan. Her Case Manager helped find affordable childcare, assisted Sarah with locating full-time job prospects and helped her apply for the SNAP program. Through the JFS Financial Resource Center, Sarah was given a grant to put down a deposit for a small apartment.
Sarah and the children also began meeting with a JFS counselor to talk about the grief of losing their husband and father, as well as the anxiety that they’ve experienced during this difficult transition.
Six months after their initial meeting, the JFS Case Manager received a handwritten letter from Sarah. She was overwhelmed with gratitude for not only her Case Manager but for the Agency:
“Once we started working with JFS, a small semblance of normalcy and happiness began to come back into our daily lives. Which, for a long time, is something I didn’t think would be possible.”
In times of tragedy, hardship, or great need JFS is ready to help. By renewing your status as a Friend of JFS, you ensure that this Agency continues to be affordable and accessible to clients like Sarah and her children. You allow JFS to provide high quality, professional guidance to the many vulnerable members of our community seeking help every day.