As #GivingTuesday continues, we’re still asking ourselves “Why Wellspring?”
While a big part of Wellspring’s work is getting children and families housed and stable, we also understand the importance of preventing families from losing their housing in the first place.
It can be as simple as helping a young mother find a new job when she loses hers unexpectedly. Or it can be as complex as connecting a family to multiple services to meet the important needs of each family member.
Sometimes a family can get pulled into the cycle of homelessness by something as little as $50. How does that happen?
Here’s one example:
After unexpectedly being laid off, Janette, a single mother with two daughters, knew she didn’t have enough in her bank account to cover both her upcoming rent and her family’s other expenses. While she knew she’d soon be able to claim unemployment, due to timing she wouldn’t have enough to cover those expenses now—she was $50 short.
If she didn’t pay her rent on time, she would be subject to late fees. Even worse, she might receive an eviction notice. Just one eviction would make it harder for her to find affordable housing in future.
Fearing eviction, she reached out to Wellspring’s Housing Stability Specialist, Porscha, who immediately helped Janette cover the small funding gap until her unemployment kicked in. Janette was able to pay her rent on time and cover her family’s expenses.
Helping her pay the rent was the first step taken in supporting Janette and her daughters. Porscha also worked with Janette to see what additional barriers might prevent longer-term stability for her family.
The highest priority for Janette was to find a new job quickly—something she had already been working on. She had interviews lined up, but with challenges to reliable transportation, successful job-hunting was at risk. Janette had a car, but her registration had expired: an expense of $100, which was too high for Janette to cover.
It was another barrier to her goal of stability.
The temptation might be to say that it was only $150. It’s an amount that many of us could cover. Or, we could ask a friend, a family member, or even a colleague. We could reach out to our support network or “safety net.”
For many of our clients, Wellspring is their “safety net.” They are turning to us when there is a family emergency or when they don’t know how they’re going to pay their rent or cover critical expenses.
For Janette, it wasn’t only $150: It was a fork in the road—stability or instability?
Today, for #GivingTuesday, we hope you’ll keep Janette and her daughters in mind as you make a gift to Wellspring, or when you share why you support Wellspring by using the hashtag #whywellspring on social media.
Thank you for supporting the children and families facing homelessness in our community!