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2019

2019
December 19, 2019 MOM NewsdonorsHousing StabilityHousing AssistanceClient StoriesFood Pantry

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Stability.  When it's gone, everything turns topsy-turvy.  Some of us can turn to our family or our savings accounts and back up plans.  But, for many in our community, those aren't options.

Mariah comes home from school every day and looks forward to seeing her dad.  He was always there, getting ready for his evening job while she did her homework.  Then one day she noticed that her dad looked very tired.  Her sister noticed that the cupboards hadn’t been restocked with food. 

Her dad had lost his second job. Money was too tight to be able to pay all of the monthly bills without the steady income from both jobs. Even a small break in their stability meant wondering how he was going to pay rent.  These are the worries, the stress and instabilities so many in our community struggle with every day.


At MOM, this past year, we have been focusing on building capacity in our Housing Stability program to serve what we know is a growing need for our services. The Housing Stability program is designed to assist individuals and families in maintaining stable housing through budget and employment counseling, negotiation and advocacy with landlords, referrals to community partners, and financial assistance designed to access and maintain affordable housing and/or prevent eviction for at-risk families.  

MOM places heavy emphasis on eviction prevention because we know that individuals and families with evictions on their record are far less likely to find stable housing in the future.  MOM is predicting that this year, we will need to distribute 50% more in financial assistance to people in our community compared to last year.

MOM places heavy emphasis on eviction prevention because we know that individuals and families with evictions on their record are far less likely to find stable housing in the future.  MOM is predicting that this year, we will need to distribute 50% more in financial assistance to people in our community compared to last year.

We know that the lack of affordable rental housing is a primary contributor to poverty in our area. While MOM’s Housing Stability program cannot solve the affordable-housing problem, providing rent assistance, a security deposit or negotiating with a landlord when a client is facing eviction is critical to allowing our neighbors to work through a crisis situation.

In addition, in the upcoming year, we are excited to expand our reach through the addition of a Community Outreach and Advocacy (COA) Case Manager, who will ensure that families, especially families from communities of color, have access to MOM’s services.  This position was specifically created as the result of community feedback.  The COA Case Manager will partner with MOM’s network of collaborating service-providers to help more of our neighbors access services at the sites where they are most comfortable, overcoming barriers like lack of childcare, transportation, physical limitations, etc.


Our Food Pantry continues to assist thousands in our community access nourishing food.  Thanks to the incredible efforts of our committed volunteers and generous partners in the community, we continue to regularly distribute around 100,000 pounds of food each month, providing a wide variety of options, including nutritious foods and produce, items that our clients frequently request.  

Thanks to the generous donations of the community, the Clothing Center offers high quality clothing, helping extend budgets as the seasons change (and kids continue to grow!),  providing more than 10,000 pounds of clothing a month! Our seasonal programs, including Back to School, Thanksgiving and Winter Wishes provide the important extras to extend budgets and inspire hope and joy.  The Seniors Program assists with rides to and from appointments as well as light household indoor and outdoor chores, helping seniors in our community maintain housing.


Remember Mariah and her dad?  Access to MOM’s services meant that she had the food that she needed to stay focused while she completed her homework each night, and she had secure and  stable housing as her dad worked to put the pieces back together. 

When we have stability, we can take a deep breath and navigate a crisis.  We can laugh and love and plan.   At MOM, we focus our resources to help people in our community in those moments – or months, or sometimes, years of crisis.

We invite you to join us to create and maintain stability in our community. Your support means we can continue to partner and strategically grow as an organization.  Your generosity provides what is needed for Mariah – and thousands of others – to hope and plan for a better tomorrow.

 

In community,

Ellen Carlson

Executive Director

 

PS - MOM is proud to have received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestarthe highest ratings both organizations award.  To see our financial information and how we spent the dollars given to us by the community, you can download our most recent Annual Report at financials.momhelps.org as well as year end giving strategies.  

Want to see your dollars in action?  Contact myself or Patricia Eldred, MOM’s Development Director.  We’d love to give you a tour!

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