17 May Championing the Cause of Affordable Housing
For more than 30 years, Homefirst has championed the cause of affordable housing and advocated valiantly for families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Our goal has been to make sure they have a place where they can feel they belong.
As an example of some of the support we offer our clients, let me introduce you Miguel and Jennifer Reyes, and their 4-year-old twins, 18-month-old toddler, and 3-month-old infant. Miguel and Jennifer contacted Homefirst for assistance last December after suffering a devastating disappointment. Earlier in the year, Miguel had relocated his family from New Jersey to Georgia to accept a promising job opportunity. Unfortunately, once they arrived, the job fell through. “We were back at square one,” says Miguel. “We basically moved to Georgia for no reason at all. We fought our way back to New Jersey, and we had to deal with the high cost of living here – with nothing.”
When Miguel finally contacted Homefirst’s Plainfield Family Support Center for relief, Homefirst immediately went into action for the family. “I reached out to ask for food and clothing. Jennifer and I had no idea that our family would receive so more than we expected,” said Miguel. The Plainfield Family Support Center supplied the Reyes family with food, clothing, books, and baby toys.
Most important to the children, though, were the books they received. “Not being able to provide small joys such as reading to your children at night affects you deeply as a parent,” says Jennifer. “The children were so excited about the books. They said, ‘Oh, can we read a story? Let’s read a new book!’ These little things really make a difference. If you don’t have the resources even to read your kid a book at night, it kind of doesn’t feel great,” Jennifer revealed.
She also said her first impression of Homefirst was a surprise. “Unfortunately, you have to bring your children to a lot of these places and they’re not always family friendly. But Homefirst definitely has an environment that makes you and your family feel comfortable.” And Miguel and Jennifer said their “very personable” case manager assessed their situation and explored options they had never even considered. “It was like, wait a minute, I wouldn’t have even thought about that! I’m so grateful for the variety of assistance Homefirst provided to my children and to my wife and me. Thank you so much,” said Miguel.
Homefirst relays the Reyes family’s gratitude to you – and we add our own. We would never be able to help the family if it had not been for the generosity of donors like you. You are the reason Miguel and Jennifer can give their children the joy of a bedtime story. Your donations are much more than dollars for our families. They are life-changing acts of kindness that directly affect the children, parents, and individuals we serve. To ensure that we can continue to be there for the Reyes family and others like them, please make a generous donation to Homefirst. Ninety percent of every dollar donated to Homefirst goes directly to client services. Consider these facts:
Your donation of:
$5,000 helps move a family into transitional housing and provides furniture, clothing and food for three months.
$2,500 covers comprehensive job training for six people.
$1,500 sends two children to summer camp.
$1,030 pays rent for one month.
$500 feeds a family of four for six weeks.
$240 pays GED exam fees for five people who want to build better lives.
$150 heats a family’s home for one month.
$52 ensures children and their families have three meals a day.
On behalf of Homefirst’s board, staff, volunteers and clients, I thank you for your donation and wish you and your family a wonderful summer!
Karla Spivey, Interim Executive Director