- Emergency Assistance
- Nutrition Program
For most of us a good quality of life means enough healthy food to eat, a safe place to live, a nurturing community of friends and family, and people who care about our physical and mental well-being. But many in the Bay Area do not have even their basic necessities covered. That is why JFCS works as a lifeline for people facing personal crises and challenges, making sure that everyone can live with dignity and respect, even when times get tough.
Last year 2,500 Bay Area residents received emergency assistance from JFCS to help them maintain their independence and make life worth living.
A Bag of Groceries and Connection to a Community of Care
72-year-old Clarice* has struggled with mental health issues most of her life and doesn’t have family to help her. Living in San Mateo in an subsidized senior housing facility, she barely makes ends meet on $911 a month. Although her favorite activity is playing bingo with her fellow residents, by the end of the month a $3 game card is simply out of reach.
Clarice says that the bags of food she receives from the JFCS Food Pantry have brought enormous relief—and eating regular meals boosts her mood and her energy. Besides the cereal, fresh fruit, cheese, and soups she likes, her care manager and a friendly JFCS volunteer also bring her necessities like laundry detergent and toilet paper. She says, “If it weren’t for JFCS, I know I would be hungry at the end of every month.”
After the North Bay Fires, Finding Stability
When Abby* contacted JFCS just days after the deadly fires in Santa Rosa, she was in a panic and her voice was shaky. She had evacuated her 80-year -old mother to safety hours before flames destroyed her childhood home. Abby, a single mother of a son with special needs, was in shock, and of course her mother was devastated.
Abby’s mother was now suddenly living with her in their 600-square foot studio apartment and Abby struggled to cope with their new reality. To make matters worse, the office where Abby worked was shuttered as the fires continued to rage. Bills were due.
JFCS stepped in immediately to provide case management to see what the family needed to regain their stability. Abby received a consultation with a JFCS’ Seniors At Home counselor to get the emotional support she needed to stay strong for her mother and her son. The family received household goods and a new mattress, gift cards to buy clothes and medications for Abby’s mother, use of the JFCS Food Pantry, and childcare for her son before his school was re-opened.
Abby says that the emotional and practical support she and her family received from JFCS so soon after the natural disaster made her feel “like a huge weight has been taken off me.” Now she is back at work getting her family’s life in order.
Proper Dental Care and a Pain-Free Future
Marin County retiree Myron* lives a simple and healthy life, still earning a small income selling baked goods at the age of 80 to supplement his Social Security check. Single and with no children, it was a serious fall on his bicycle that stunned Myron into realizing that he wasn’t as independent as he had thought. Because he’d broken an old dental bridge during his accident, he was having difficulty eating normally and his speech was impaired.
With no savings and no living family, expensive dental surgery seemed out of the question and Myron figured he’d be disfigured and uncomfortable for the rest of his life.
JFCS was able to find a compassionate dentist and pay for a full bridge because of help from donors. Now Myron is back in the community and self-sufficient once again. He says, “I’m no longer haunted with the fear of having major problems with my teeth. It would not be an understatement to say that this dental work has changed my life!”
A New Life Starts with You
With more than 40 programs helping seniors, families, and individuals in the Bay Area, JFCS offers life-changing care so that anyone who faces a crisis can get through it. When you show you care by giving, you become part of an exemplary community that makes this all possible.
JFCS’ Emergency Family Assistance Program is supported by generous individual donors, endowed funds, and grants from foundations, including the Koret Foundation, the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust, the Federation Newhouse Fund, and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.
* Names have been changed for confidentiality.