An old song says, “there’s no place like home for the holidays.” Those words carry extra meaning for over 300 families and individuals who turned to the Lower Cape Outreach this year to help them hold on to their homes.
Our numbers exploded in 2018. In fact, we currently have the highest number of clients since the last great recession and we’re 40% over budget for client expenses.
The good news is we’ve been able to help all of the people who have turned to us. We help them catch up on their rents because if you lose your housing on Cape Cod, there are no affordable alternatives. We encourage them to use our food pantries and free clothing store and concentrate their incomes on maintaining the home. We go on to provide them with mentoring, emergency financial assistance, a jobs program and even tuition assistance so they can build more self-sustaining futures.
We’ve been able to do this because you and hundreds of others are generous to our holiday Gifts of Hope campaign.
We need your help. With client need at such high levels, I’m worried about how that need will grow during the winter months when work is scarce and heat is a big extra expense. Half of our new clients are seniors. Some are raising grandchildren. Others are what they call “house poor” meaning they have a home but spend the vast majority of their income fighting to hold on to that home. The rest are fishing families caught in the net of a shrinking industry, the working poor earning $8 to $12 in hourly wage jobs, kids who are out of school and out of work, and young families who want to build their lives on Cape Cod but struggle with low wages and high rents.
This year we project expenses of $1,250,000 to help roughly 1,900 households keep their heads above water. Our goal for the Gifts of Hope holiday campaign is $400,000, roughly one third of what we’ll need. More than ever, I ask you to make us part of your holiday tradition.
You can help. Make a custom donation using the button below.
Larry Marsland, CEO