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JFCS Critical Needs Provides Help for a Home

At JFCS, our critical needs programs work to help people in the community during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Ms. P had moved out of the city to a housing unit to be closer to her children after a serious illness. 

While the housing complex was fine and met her immediate needs, it soon came to be a toxic housing situation for her and many of the other senior citizens living there. She applied for new housing and began to save monthly from her paycheck and Social Security check. But when, four months later, ACTION housing let her know there was a one bedroom apartment available for her to move into, she quickly realized she still wouldn’t be able to cover the cost of moving expenses, security deposit, and first month’s rent with all she had saved. Knowing that going back on the waitlist could mean several months, if not years, of waiting to hear about another available apartment, she started looking for ways to get help. 

After finding information about JFCS’s critical needs program SOS Pittsburgh through the HUD website, Ms. P reached out for assistance. She explained her situation to caseworker Claire Burbea, who took her case and advocated for her to receive financial assistance to cover her first month’s rent and security deposit. Her case was approved, and with some additional help from St. Vincent DePaul Society, Ms. P was able to move out of her bad living situation and into new housing–even closer to her family. 

“When I got the call from ACTION housing, I felt like God was saying, ‘This is where you need to be,’” Ms. P explained. She expressed that things are going well for her now, and she’s working on unpacking and getting settled into the new place. “Claire advocated for me to get what I asked for,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to make this move.”