Helping Hands Stories

All names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of grant recipients.

AB and her two children entered AVDA’s emergency shelter after fleeing her abusive partner. She was pregnant, unemployed, and afraid of what would come next. After settling in for a few days and receiving supportive counseling and assistance with emotional safety planning, she enrolled her children in daycare and attended a few courses that would help her secure employment. After securing employment, she found an apartment, and with the help of Gerstner funds towards her move-in costs, she was able to move into her new home, prepare for the arrival of her newborn and live violence-free with her children.

Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse

JC came to Project Home for rental arrears assistance because she experienced a decrease in employment hours and wages while taking time off to assist her five-year-old son who suffers from a chronic illness. Since working with Project Home, JC’s rent has been reduced, she received assistance from the Human Resources of Administration (HRA) One Shot Deal process, and she is receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. The majority of JC’s rental arrears were covered by a One Shot Deal from HRA and a Helping Hands grant from Project Home. JC has returned to work full-time and her five-year-old child is doing much better.

University Settlement

CB and JB are proud parents of four beautiful children. JB suffered an injury on the job that rendered him unable to work for over six weeks. The family exhausted their savings to stay afloat, but they fell behind on one month of rent and their landlord filed a court ordered eviction. With help from the Gerstner Family Foundation, we were was able to pay the family’s past due rent and prevent them from becoming homeless. During the course of agency intervention, JB completed physical therapy and returned to work. Additionally, CB received resume building assistance and was able to obtain a higher paying job. The family has remained current on rent since agency intervention and the parents are working to rebuild their savings.

Adopt-a-Family of the Palm Beaches

AVDA provided a grant to a survivor for her extensive dental needs from the physical abuse at the hands of her abuser. She needed 10 teeth to be repaired and felt uncomfortable interviewing for jobs until the work was completed. AVDA referred the survivor to Genesis Health, a community health center that provides low-cost dental services. With the grant provided through this funding, she was able to pay the $40 per tooth fee that is required by Genesis Health. After the dental work was completed, the survivor secured a very good job, got a car, and moved into her own apartment.

Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse

The client, Betty R., is an immigrant from Ecuador who worked in a clothing factory for many years before becoming disabled due to a deterioration of her spinal column. Her husband works as a cab driver and together they could afford a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. One of the deadliest fires in New York City history tore through their apartment building, killing 12 of her neighbors and leaving her and her husband with only the clothes on their backs. The next day we reached out to Betty and gave them free donated clothing and extra food to take to their temporary lodging with friends. We used Gerstner funds to buy additional clothing for her and her husband as most of their belongings have been destroyed by fire and water.

Part of the Solution

Rennie and her two sons fled domestic violence. They moved in with Rennie’s sister, but the apartment soon became overcrowded and the landlord ordered her family to leave. Through her own resourcefulness, Rennie found both an apartment and a job that enabled her to pay rent moving forward. However, she did not have enough savings to pay for her security deposit and moving costs. With the help of a grant the family was able to pay the deposit and moving costs. Rennie and her boys are now safe and happy in their new home.

FamilyAid Boston

Ireri and her husband Erick live with their two young children in a single shared room. The family has a difficult time making ends meet and was devastated when Law Enforcement raided and destroyed their home wrongfully in an attempt to evict a different family. This left them with a home full of broken furniture and nowhere to sleep. With a Helping Hands grant, we were able to purchase beds and linens for the family; they now each have their own bed to sleep in and can focus on maintaining the stability and well-being of their children.

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House

AW is a hard-working young lady. She is currently pregnant. She has only six classes left to obtain her bachelor’s degree. She missed two days of work, and when she returned, she did not have a doctor’s note so her employer terminated her employment. AW was quickly hired by another company but the gap in employment left her short with paying her rent. Thanks to the generosity of the Gerstner Family Foundation, we were able to pay for one month of rent for this client.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach