Here at United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, we wanted to take a moment to share just a few success stories from the later portion of 2020. These stories expand across our tri-county area. Thank you for your support as we unite our community to uplift all our neighbors.
In January of 2020, 47-year-old Jane from Fairborn was in a hard situation. As a single woman, living primarily on $731 from Social Security Disability benefits, SNAP, Medicaid, and Medicare, she was coming up short for the month’s electric bill. Without that $121, she would be sitting in the dark for days. Jane called our HelpLink 211 service and was referred to several organizations as a solution to link her to help. Later that month, HelpLink 211 performed a follow up and Jane was very appreciative and shared that St. Luke Catholic Church and Fairborn FISH helped collectively pay her electric bill. Because of your generosity, HelpLink 211 is possible so we can offer 24/7/365 service to link Jane, and others, to the resources they need in critical times. You helped Jane see light through what could have been a dark period – both literally and figuratively.
Robert was struggling to get on his feet and get ahead. This past July, he was experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, and other challenges. During these times, Robert was accessing Catholic Social Services Choice Food Pantry. Being there, Robert received more than just food, he received encouragement from staff and community referrals to assist him in reaching his goals.
A few months later, Robert came to the pantry specifically to let the coordinator know that he got a full-time job and was able to acquire stable housing and provide for his daughter’s needs. Robert wanted the coordinator to be one of the first people he told about this success because of her constant encouragement and support. Robert said that he will be accessing the pantry less frequently but he planned to pay it forward and plans to give back for the assistance he received.
Your donations have a ripple effect. Because of the services he was able to receive, Robert has full-time employment and wants to help give back to others. When you donate to United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, we can offer support to essential services within the community. These essential service needs are great as our region navigates through COVID-19.
Tasha had been married to her husband for 16 years. This summer, she summoned extreme courage and decided to leave her abusive relationship and have her four teenage children in the custody of her sister. Tasha entered the Preble County Domestic Violence Shelter, supported through the YWCA Dayton. Here, she was provided with personal care items, clothing, and food. The shelter also provided access to a mental health counselor and recovery services. While Tasha’s physical, mental, and emotional needs were being supported, she was also able to access Legal Aid for advice regarding assets and custody of the children. Case management provided advocacy for Tasha during her custody hearings and has assisted her with receiving replacement birth certificates for her children and applying for new social security cards. The Shelter’s Program and YWCA Dayton also assisted Tasha when she applied for SNAP food benefits and Medicaid through Job & Family Services, as well as applying for assistance with new beds for her children and herself. Because of the help of case management, Tasha found a 3-bedroom apartment so her children could live with her. She signed her lease and transitioned into her new apartment in September.
When Tasha left her abusive husband, and worked to regain custody of her four teenage children, it took a community of coordinated services to help her meet her essential needs, receive Legal Aid, obtain basics for housing, and secure her own apartment. We are proud to support organizations like the YWCA Dayton and assist our community. When we all UNITE together, we can help Tasha, and others, regain their power and overcome abuse to improve their lives-and the lives of their children.