In the Greater Boston area alone, 4,000 Jewish households are living in poverty, at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. Up to 11,000 more are at risk of poverty. Many are dealing with physical and/or mental illness.
Our clients are your neighbors, friends and families in more than 80 towns across Massachusetts.
75% live on $2,000 or less a month
80% are born in the U.S.
Nearly 60% are between the ages of 50 and 70
50% of our families with children at home are single-parent households
In our clients’ words:
It got so bad, we couldn’t feed our children
When Dan and Shelly graduated from law school 10 years ago, they never imagined they would have trouble feeding their children. But then the recession hit, and the law firm they’d started together saw a dramatic decrease in clients.
Before long, the couple, in their late 30s, was struggling to pay their mortgage.
“In this economy, it got so bad, we couldn’t feed our two children, who go to school with kids who have everything. You gave us the privilege of a card to go shopping for ourselves and helped us with the rent at our worst. It bought us time … Thank you.”
I broke down in tears
Sophie’s parents were among the 77,000 Jewish people deported from France between 1942 and 1944. Left alone at the age of 3, she was taken into care by a Jewish child rescue organization.
Now an adult living in subsidized housing, Sophie turned to Yad Chessed for help when medical needs strained her limited resources.
“I am a hidden child survivor, the last witness to the horrors of the Holocaust. I am on a fixed income and live in a subsidized apartment. … When Yad Chessed called me, I broke down in tears. That my need had actually been addressed in a respectful, dignified and caring way reconfirmed the difference that we human beings can make in each other’s lives.”
No one else understood
Alice, a divorced, single mother of two, escaped to Boston after leaving an abusive husband in a neighboring state. She had to change her name and distance herself from family in order to protect her children. One of Alice’s children has a number of physical and mental disabilities and requires constant care. Since Alice cannot afford to pay someone to stay with him, her work opportunities are limited.
“Yad Chessed has been the warmest welcome to a community when I was fleeing one that did not help me. No one else understood the need for childcare as a basic need, as basic for me as food, because without it, I cannot work. Thanks for thinking of us as people and not as statistics.”
Yad Chessed provides their family with monthly food cards and kept their home heated this past winter. We are guiding Dan and Shelly through the process of selling their home and rebuilding their careers.
Yad Chessed provided Sophie with much-needed furniture and a community support to lean on when she needed it most.
Yad Chessed helped Alice with babysitting costs during interviews and paid the security deposit for her new apartment.