A year before the pandemic, Jason became ill and lost his job. He’d used his savings to pay the medical bills and his unemployment benefits weren’t enough to keep up with his house, car, utility and insurance payments — so lost his car. Growing up, his family stressed self-reliance and he’d never asked for help before this, but the situation was so critical he called United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline. Gina, the 2-1-1 Call Specialist, referred Jason to us.
Jason told us he’d been lucky enough to be offered a full time job in Manhattan, but without his car he had no way to get there without the money from his first paycheck.
United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region’s Crisis Fund and our funded partner were able to fund two one-week passes for travel to Manhattan on Metro North. After his two-week orientation that August, Jason received his first paycheck and was able to pay for his own transportation. Six months later, last January, he’d received a promotion and raise and was able to purchase a used car.
When the pandemic hit, Jason was able to work from home keeping in touch with his clients virtually. This steady income let him fix up his house and create apartments that he now sublets to three tenants. Jason is also volunteering once a week to help other people that are facing crisis due to COVID-19 and is so thankful for receiving that help that’s changed his life.