Friday, September 20, 2013

When You're One Paycheck Away from Crisis

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Keep my family together. Keep up with the rent. Keep food on the table.

Those were Nubia’s desperate goals as she worked long hours as a housekeeper and nanny. Though she was exhausted at the end of the day and money was very, very tight, her life was actually on an upswing: Just months earlier she had fled from a domestic abuse situation, leaving her the sole provider for her children and a young grandchild. They were scraping by, but they were safe – to Nubia, it made the hard work worth it all.

Until she lost her job. Suddenly Nubia and her family went from living on the edge of poverty to falling off the cliff. For families like Nubia’s living paycheck to paycheck, an unexpected job loss, or illness, or car repair, can throw off a fragile balance.

“Suddenly, everything felt hopeless,” Nubia said.

She had heard Catholic Charities’ Montgomery County Family Center (MCFC) distributed emergency funds to help families in crisis. She met with Cindy Mendez, a family support specialist at our MCFC, who made sure Nubia got the funds she needed to keep up with her bills until she could get back on her feet. Cindy also provided additional guidance, referrals, and helped her develop a family budget.

“Somebody can hear you here,” Nubia said. “They really listen and help. I feel calm. I can move on now. With Cindy’s help I remained a mom and a grandmother my family can count on.”

In his recent interview with America Magazine, Pope Francis reminds us: "God is in every person's life. God is in everyone's life...You can, you must try to seek God in every human life." His papacy has reaffirmed again and again the importance of service to those in need - people who are sick, or hungry, or homeless, or mentally ill, or victimized, or struggling. People like Nubia, who are just trying to feed their kids. 

It was 60 years ago that Pope Francis was first called to the priesthood on the Feast Day of St. Matthew, September 21. Like St. Matthew, the Pope feels called by God to be the hands and face of Christ to those in need. It's a call he extends to each of us - it's a call our staff answers each day at Catholic Charities. 

Help us to ensure we have resources to show compassion and mercy to all who come our way. Please make a gift today to support our work.