The issues that families across our region face do not exist independently of one another. A student struggling in school may come to class hungry each day. A parent who is unemployed may not have a place to call “home” or money for transportation to and from the office.
Because the issues aren’t singular, investments in their success can’t just address one issue.
At United Way of Metro Chicago, we invest in social service agencies who provide a wide range of services and partner with others to ensure each of our neighbors’ needs are met.
For Julie, a mom of four from Blue Island, this approach made all the difference.
Last year, Julie sought help from Together We Cope, a United Way community partner that provides food, shelter, clothing and referrals to our neighbors in times of crisis.
Having recently left a domestic violence shelter, Julie needed assistance to pay a security deposit and first month’s rent for a new apartment. Though she worked as a full-time customer service representative, she wasn’t making enough money to cover the expenses for her new home.
When she turned to Together We Cope, their case management team went above and beyond to offer Julie the necessities she needed to provide for her children.
In addition to a voucher for the organization’s resale clothing shop and family counseling and employment resources, Julie’s children were signed up for a back-to-school program so they could receive school supplies and backpacks. Julie was already receiving SNAP benefits, however, the case manager realized she could use her money to meet other vital needs by utilizing their food pantry for groceries.
Each month since, Julie has visited Together We Cope, always providing an update on life. With the support of these wrap-around services, Julie is now living comfortably in her new apartment and has enrolled in a free class to become a certified nursing assistant!