While Crisis Assistance Ministry’s facilities are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, the people served here are ever present in our minds.
The last time Kim shared her story, she was in the midst of putting her life back together after a medical emergency and a job layoff sent her family into a tailspin.
We checked in with her for an update in the midst of the current crisis.
Q: What is your employment situation right now?
I am still unemployed but will begin my new employment journey on March 30th. This position is 100% remote so that helps me reduce some expenses like gas, childcare, car maintenance, etc.
Q: Walk us through what a day in your home looks like currently. How has it changed because of COVID-19?
Right now, we are sleeping in just an hour later than our normal daily wake up time. My daughter has scheduled Skype meetings with her teachers that she attends with her CMS Chromebook. My son has been provided educational packets to keep his brain refreshed. He has also been provided with educational links to log into for more learning fun.
As for me, I’m on fridge and pantry watch – trying to make sure my kids aren’t eating just because it’s here – as well as doing laundry, wiping everything down, doing some spring cleaning and mentally preparing myself to get back into the workforce.
Q: Even though utility companies are not disconnecting services and evictions are temporarily halted, we know that bills will continue to pile up. Once the crisis is over, we expect many families to be in even greater need of emergency financial assistance to keep their homes and utilities. What are your thoughts on this?
With my recent move, I’m blessed to not fall into this category, but my heart goes out to all that are. As if things weren’t complicated enough, amongst trying to find the necessities to survive, you have to worry about the inevitable when this all blows over. I understand that we can’t live for free, but I feel there shouldn’t be any fees incurred during this time. Rent should be pro-rated, light bills should be too. As well as all those other bills that others may be facing.
Q: What do you think the community should be focused on right now?
I think communities and the City of Charlotte should continue to come together and look out for each other and continue to offer all resources that they are aware of and/or may know of.
Q: What advice do you have for other families who are suffering financially and emotionally right now?
Although it’s easier said than done, I advise that everyone just does what they can. Don’t stress yourself out on something that may or may not take place in the future.
Once this all blows over, start reaching out and making payment arrangements. If your employer offers some type of employee assistance, take advantage of it.
And while we’re all out trying to get back to our somewhat normal lives let’s remember to pack on some patience. We have all experienced the same issue and some of us don’t have the same resources to prepare as well as others. When you’re out seeking assistance, please be respectful of the representative that is helping you, as they are suffering as well. And instead of being able to handle their own business, they are there helping you with yours.
We will all get through this together, but we have to work together!
Q: Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Because Crisis Assistance was such a blessing to me, I would like to be a blessing as well. Being a Crisis Assistance Ministry recipient and advocate, I would like to be a blessing to someone in need. I know first hand the challenges everyone is facing and would like to share my story, blessing, and hope with them.
From past experiences, I have waited in the lobby with hopes of receiving rental assistance or help to keep the power on and not had any money to purchase a pack of chips from the vending machine. Or riding on prayer to and from Crisis Assistance with my gas light on, hoping to eliminate one stressful issue at a time.
However and whoever I can help, I’m all for it!