An Account from Emergency Services
Judith* had been living in a Senior Apartment for seven years when she unexpectedly had a change in her household composition. When her daughter’s involvement in illegal activity resulted in a prison sentence, Judith suddenly found herself with custody of her two grandchildren. In addition to the new expenses involved, she also had to find new housing.
Judith first attempted to have her grandchildren stay with her, but they were not permitted to remain in her Seniors-only apartment building. She was facing a two- week deadline to relocate when she came to our Emergency Assistance Services (EAS) office in Downtown Syracuse (pictured at right). Staff members at the program were able to connect her with a Homelessness Prevention caseworker.
Our caseworker helped Judith to find an apartment within her budget, referred her to the Department of Social Services for a voucher to purchase beds for the children, and connected her with a church-run furniture program that was able to provide her with household items.
The new apartment is near the Emergency Assistance office and Judith continues to stop by for some extra food assistance when her SNAP benefits are not sufficient to get through the month. The EAS office has also been able to provide clothing items occasionally and to help with food and gifts during the holidays. Judith remains in touch with staff at Emergency Services, as much for the support she receives from interacting with staff as for any material goods or services available.
Our Emergency Services provides assistance for people facing dire circumstances such as bare cupboards, homelessness and more. In 2017, fully 100% of clients who received rental assistance remained housed and avoided homelessness. Stabilizing housing for families and individuals drastically increases their chances of succeeding in employment and school, and is a vital part of our goal of reducing poverty in Syracuse.