“Loaves and Fishes has been extremely helpful with any needs I have had. I can’t say enough good things about this organization.” We received these kind words from one of our neighbors who received financial assistance.
We are very grateful to individuals like this who trust us with their difficult life experiences and allow us to work with them through our food market which provides access to healthy food or through our agency-run programs such as financial assistance, car donation, resource meetings, public benefit applications, tax return preparation, job search assistance, and Moving Up which helps participants take steps toward self-sufficiency.
One of the core challenges faced by residents we serve is the lack of sufficient income to meet their basic needs due to unemployment or under employment. While the economy has experienced growth, much of the job growth has occurred in the service sector which does not pay a living wage. These jobs can be characterized by unstable employment with frequent layoffs, part-time and inconsistent hours without benefits. Coupled with the high cost of housing in DuPage County, low-income families have no wealth or negative wealth, so a $400 unexpected bill or loss of income due to an illness or job loss can put a family at risk for homelessness.
Our financial assistance program is a very effective model for preventing homelessness in our community. We leverage our funds by collaborating and coordinating financial assistance packages with community partners so we can maximize assistance without duplicating services. In the past three years, 85 percent of the individuals provided with financial assistance only requested assistance once during that time period and 90 percent of our clients are still housed three months after being provided with assistance.
We are grateful to all our funders who provide us with the resources we need to help keep families housed in our community.