We hear this phrase a lot: “Life is returning to normal.”

It may be true for people in the middle- and upper-middle classes, but nothing could be further from the truth for our Emergency Aid clients. Rather, what we know to be true is,
“Life is not normal.”

“For most of the folks we are working with, things are way more precarious now than they were one-and-a-half to two years ago,” said Caitlin DeBoer, LCSW, Emergency Aid program manager.

Many people indeed are returning to work. But with depleted savings, their bills continue to pile up. “I’ve seen an increase in clients returning to request additional assistance, and they ask for more than is available,” Caitlin said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

While challenging to field calls and emails from people in crises, it is wonderful that an increasing number of people know that JFCS is here to meet immediate needs. Word of mouth is powerful. Last year alone we gave crucial resources to nearly 220 people, to the tune of $180,000. 

One family suddenly was faced with an unexpected medical bill and — like too many others — had to choose between paying for a loved one’s recovery and making rent. JFCS’ Emergency Aid provided the funds to pay the family’s rent. 

Said a grateful and relieved member of that family, “I’m not sure what else we would have done this month.”