Stories of Those We Serve
Short Term Disability
A family of four living in Bloomington found themselves in danger of losing their housing when Dave, the father, had to go into the hospital for a month. At his retail job, he did not have benefits for short-term disability, or even accrued sick time. Jean, his wife and the mother of their two children, worked part time, but was not able to increase her hours while Dave was sick because child care costs would be more than her income. VEAP used FHPAP funds to pay for $475, half of one month of rent, which was all they needed to prevent their landlord from filing an unlawful detainer to have them evicted. They also used VEAP's seasonal program for Easter and the food pantry to help them get back on their feet.
Credit Card Company Mistake
Beth lives in Bloomington and has one child. She works at a medical clinic and makes $12.00/hour. She pays $600 a month in rent. In March, a credit card company made an unauthorized debit on her bank account. The missing money caused checks that she had written to come back with non-sufficient funds. Not only did these checks not get paid, but the bank also charged her fees over $200. The credit card company did not automatically put the money back in her account. After hours of phone calls, she still could not pay her April rent. VEAP was able to help with a loan for her April rent, and with food one time a week through April.
A family of three living in Richfield was temporarily missing a father because he was deployed with the National Guard. Mom was working full time, but lost her job when she lost her childcare. She had a new job lined up, but it did not start for another two weeks and the next month's rent was already due. She used her last paycheck from her old job to pay March rent, but her first paycheck from her new job would not be until the middle of April, when May rent was due. Because of her gap in income, she had no funds to pay for April rent. VEAP used General Funds for a loan for her April rent and assisted with food.
Paula, a single woman living in Richfield, worked for the same employer for 15 years when she was forced to resign. She received unemployment while she was searching for a job, but it was not enough to cover her rent. She lived on her savings until it ran out, then had to take a much lower paying job just to pay rent. The money was enough for her to live on, but her first paycheck would only be for one week, and would not be in time to prevent her landlord from evicting her. VEAP helped her with a loan from the general fund for one month of rent and offered for her to use the food pantry once a week to help with food needs.
Alice and Bill have a 3 year old child and live in Bloomington. Bill was laid off from his job for three weeks, and Alice's part time job was not enough to pay the full amount of rent. VEAP used FHPAP Family funds for a loan to cover part of their rent, and they used the food pantry to help stretch their finances. VEAP also gave the family Minnesota Zoo passes to help support the emotional needs in a time of crisis.
Christine and her four children live in a home in Bloomington. Christine's mother, Jill, has been living with her for the past three years, because the social security she lives on is not enough to afford a place of her own. Christine works full time, and pays over half of the household income to the rent. She used to have subsidized housing that made the housing affordable, but lost it nine months ago when she was no longer eligible for the program. Since that time, trying to keep the rent current caused all the utilities to fall behind. She was able to make payment arrangements with the gas and electric company, but she received a shut off notice for her water bill. VEAP was able to help with a portion of the bill, to prevent the water from being turned off, and she was able to pay the remaining balance to bring her account current. She also used VEAP's food pantry, and received the Easter program.
A Bloomington family received a disconnect notice and owed $460 to the gas company. The gas company wanted half of the total amount owed in order to make a payment arrangement. VEAP helped with a partial payment on the bill, so that the customer could set up affordable arrangements and still pay rent. VEAP also assisted with food two times a month, to ensure the family could stick to the payment plan they made.
Stretching Every Dollar
One family had worked with VEAP in the past, and called again with a financial need. Because of their previous funding they were not eligible for financial assistance at that time. VEAP signed the family up to use the food pantry once a week for two months tp help stretch their funds and made sure the family signed up to use the Back to School program. Even those two interventions allowed the family to correct their financial situation and get back on their feet again.
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The names and identifying details of these case studies have been changed. We utilize only photos of staff and volunteers, or stock photography designed to portray our services rather than particular individuals.