Somedays, JFCS’ Emergency Aid intake line receives three calls — before noon. For the clients, it is hard to make that call. So many factors restrain people in need, such as the stigma against asking for help and the stress about the haste with which they need resources.
Rest assured: JFCS now has an intake coordinator who records every call received and passes the person in need to the right department, including Emergency Aid.
“So often when people call social services agencies they get stuck, unsure what to do and often don’t get calls back,” said Caitlin DeBoer, LCSW, Emergency Aid program manager. If their request is beyond JFCS’ scope, we call them back and provide a comprehensive list of resources or referrals.
Turning tables, community partner organizations like synagogues, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program often refer people to us. Those cases are prioritized.
“We make it so our clients have few hoops to jump through,” Caitlin said. “We are here to help. We have the resources. Just call.”