Every day, people in our community struggle to get by. Many of our neighbors are barely making it, just one car accident or emergency room visit away from financial crisis
Take Louise, for example. After leaving an abusive living situation, she was experiencing homelessness and staying in a shelter with her eight year-old son, Gabriel. Gabriel had been diagnosed with Leukemia two years earlier and he was still experiencing ongoing health issues. Right after moving in, Louise’s car broke down. Her only option for getting to work each day was to take a taxi, which added up to $180 a week. That expense on top of summer daycare for her son was too much with a low-wage job.
After reaching out to every resource she could find and not getting any help, she called 211 as her last hope. Georgie, the 211 specialist who answered the call, was “the first positive person” that didn’t “just hang up on you because there’s no help out there,” says Louise. 211 was able to use emergency funds to pay for taxi rides to and from work while reaching out to see if Louise could get assistance paying for car repairs. “Georgie delivered the check herself to the taxi company on her way home from work,” says Louise, “Just that one cushion of a week to get to work lifted my spirit and my belief that everything is going to work out.”
When it was determined that Louise’s car couldn’t be repaired, 211 helped connect her to a church that donated a 1991 Acura to Louise so she could get to work. “It’s amazing the effort that Georgie took for just that one phone call,” Louise says, “She kept going until I had the resources I needed.” Louise says the help she received from 211 was “such a blessing…it gave me back the mental image to love myself, to keep going and not fall apart and not get anywhere.”
Two years later, Louise reached back out to share that she and Gabriel are living in a new townhouse, she has a new “amazing” job, and Gabriel is doing well. “This is all possible thanks to our Heavenly Father and the one phone call to 211 that has forever changed our lives,” she said.
Your support of United Way St. Croix Valley helps give people like Louise the chance they deserve. Please donate today to make sure our program, 211 St. Croix Valley, is there to answer the call when our neighbors like Louise are ready to lose hope.