Rebecca (not her real name) enjoyed her full-time job, which provided just enough for her family of four. Five years into her steady job, in spring 2020 the pandemic struck, and so did unemployment. Rebecca’s husband remained employed, but his income was inadequate for the family. Pile on the couple’s two school-age children suddenly needing to be at home around the clock, attending classes via Zoom.

Strapped, Rebecca didn’t know where to turn, until a Jewish community partner organization recommended JFCS. Our Emergency Aid program provided her family rental assistance, as well as referrals to other local programs to help bridge the financial gap as additional rental and utility bills came due.

After JFCS helped the family through its initial crisis, Rebecca found part-time work and again they were self-sufficient. But on a razor-thin edge. Only a year after Rebecca’s initial contact with our agency, one of her kids fell ill, requiring unforeseen medical expenses and her sudden need to take a leave from work — unpaid.

This time, Rebecca knew whom to call, and Emergency Aid stepped in to help the family get back on its financial feet, where they remain today, thanks to resources we provided and those via our referral to the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Rebecca’s family had some savings prior to the pandemic, but after 18 months with an underemployed parent, the family faces an enduring shaky financial foundation.  

“This family, and so many like them, are still living paycheck-to-paycheck and are just one unexpected expense away from not being able to pay their bills. We are so glad we can help, when and where it’s most needed.” – Caitlin DeBoer, LCSW, Emergency Aid program manager

Grateful to JFCS, Rebecca said, “Thank you for the kindness you and the whole agency have shown us.”