by Julie Rosenberg
Julie Rosenberg is a social worker at St George’s Society and here she talks about the impact our charity has on the lives of our beneficiaries.
“Working as a social worker helping seniors facing eviction in housing court, I have seen firsthand how St. George’s has prevented many of my clients from losing their homes and I cannot stress the indelible effect they have had on the lives of my clients over the years.
Take Mr. P for example.
Mr. P is an 84 year old Jamaican gentleman who came to this country and worked as a tailor until he could no longer get enough jobs to pay his rent in his apartment of over 30 years. He had nowhere else to go and no family to help. Compounding his problems was that he had severe hearing loss– he could barely communicate in person and the telephone was virtually impossible.
He had a nominal amount of social security– less than he was even entitled—but he didn’t know that, nor did he know how he could fix the problem. The reason for this crisis was simple: his rent exceeded his income and he faced a huge amount of rental arrears. He was in the process of losing his home until St George’s Society stepped in. With the promise of a monthly payment directly to Mr. P’s landlord, so many opportunities opened up for Mr. P.
The collaboration between St. George’s and a community program meant he was now able to afford the rent in his home of over 30 years. We were able to get a grant from the city to pay off all of his arrears, helped to pay for new furniture and cleaning services for his apartment and perhaps the biggest success after securing his home, was that we were able to assist him in getting his first hearing aid.
Even then, when the services available to seniors fell short, in this case that Mr. P’s health insurance would only cover one hearing aid despite desperately needing two, St. George’s stepped up and paid for the second hearing aid. So now, for the first time, Mr. P can hear, is safe in his apartment, has new furniture and new clothing, and now attends a daily day program with people who watch out for his everyday needs. He is secure, reports being overwhelmed by the kindness and help he has received. Kindness and caring he swears he has never seen in his 84 years. Without St. George’s, he knows he would most definitely have lost his home… and his dignity.
I have had the repeated fortune to get my clients a stipend from St. George’s — something that didn’t just make a small difference in their lives, for many, I believe it truly saved their lives.”
If you would like to make a difference today and donate towards the St. George’s Society Beneficiary Program please click here.