We conduct our work with the awareness that most of the people who reach out to us for help never thought they would have to ask anyone for help, let alone us.
The following circumstances are some of the reasons people turn to us for help:
- THE ECONOMY:
- Loss of employment, underemployment, end of benefits such as unemployment or disability, etc.
- Stop-gap period of time while client awaits decision about their eligibility for public or other benefits.
- Natural disasters or catastrophes – earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, etc.
- Human-made disasters – fire, accidents, attacks, etc.
- FAMILY SITUATION:
Divorce, abandonment, domestic violence, ‘dead-beat’ parent, death, other
- HEALTH /MEDICAL:
- Acute, chronic and/or life-threatening Illness, disability of client or family’s primary ‘bread winner’.
- Recent studies continue to show that 60% of personal bankruptcy filings in the United States are caused by uncovered medical bills.
- ALCOHOL / OPIOID / SUBSTANCE USE / ABUSE DISORDERS
- Conditions that impact the user as well as his/her family and friends – financial, physical, emotional, psychological
- MENTAL HEALTH:
- Illness of client or family member; inability to follow through on issues such as remembering to recertify for public benefits or gather needed information, refusing medications/ not following directions, immobility due to mental status.
- Frequently, the path to good judgment is paved by a series of poor ones. As a result, we do not believe that the penalty for poor judgment should be (e.g.) homelessness. We try not to judge people unfairly or based on our own values.
- Since not all people have the inherent ability to change their behavior on their own, part of our role is to help them learn / practice how to make better choices. For example, we refer people to nonprofit and credit counseling services, and offer to help them develop a budget to track income v spending to help them differentiate between ‘fixed’ costs (rent, etc.) and variable costs (movies, lunches, etc.) – expenses they can control.
- HABITUAL “ASKER”:
- Person who continually looks to others to ‘rescue’ him/her
- Some of such people are in their predicament because of poor judgment; others because they need hep budgeting their limited income.
- SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT: Those who believe we must help them because they are (Greek) Orthodox and we are Philoptochos.