Victoria would be facing a much harsher reality without the hope and help she found here from people like you.
“Truly, if I didn’t have Crisis Assistance Ministry, I would not have survived this year. I might be in a tent in the woods,” Victoria explains. In fact, she confides, she keeps a tent on hand just in case.
Disabled by chronic health issues since 1995, Victoria knows how to stretch a dollar. She keeps a garden. She raises chickens with a friend’s help. She turns the heat off on March 15 and doesn’t turn it back on until November. In between, she says, “I just have to wear more clothes, drink tea, or have soup to stay warm.”
She lays out her budget: mortgage (less than even the most inexpensive apartment nowadays), power, water, food. All on a monthly disability check and a few odd jobs when she’s able.
“Any little thing puts me in the situation where I have to ask for help,” Victoria says. The pandemic forced her to give up outside work because of her high-risk conditions. She let her car go to avoid the cost of gas, insurance, and maintenance. She began to read by candlelight and lantern, taping light switches “off” so she didn’t turn them on accidentally. Anything to reduce costs. Still, she couldn’t keep up.
Finally, she ventured out—taking every precaution—to visit Crisis Assistance Ministry where she was glad to see CDC guidelines being observed. She found cleaning products, boots to keep her safe in the garden during early spring rains, and some kitchen tools to help transform her harvest into healthy meals. Thanks to your support, emergency payments were also made to keep her power and water flowing.
“The thing about chronic poverty is people make assumptions,” adds Victoria. “Many times your human dignity is lost. But I never felt that way at Crisis Assistance Ministry. No one here treats me in a way that would turn my humility into humiliation.”
Thank you for preventing homelessness while preserving dignity for Victoria and so many others.