While Our Daily Bread (ODB) is known for providing food, many people don’t realize nearly 15 years ago we created an assistance program that furnishes needs beyond what a hot meal can fix. Now ODB is recognized in the homeless social service sphere for the compassion and skill of our social work team.
For 5 years that team has consisted of devoted social workers, Pamela Lewis and Sr. Thérèse DelGenio (respectfully referred to as Ms. Pam and Sister by our guests). Pam and Thérèse assist guests with navigating the red tape that stands between them and housing, employment and good health. For our guests, Pam and Thérèse are knowledgeable friends with listening ears who aid them on their journeys home.
Pam and Thérèse are able to provide small stipends for rental and utility assistance to prevent homelessness, thanks to generous grants from the Franciscan Friars and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (Thérèse’s order). Our team also provides bus passes, I.D.’s, work clothes, and background checks to help people find and maintain jobs. In 2016, Pam and Thérèse provided nearly 1500 guests with emergency financial assistance.
Pam reports that the biggest emergency need they see in the summer months is utility bills. While there is a government funded utility assistance program in Ohio, those that participate are required to pay their reduced bill on time every month. If a participant misses a payment, or moves into new housing, the entirety of the past bill becomes due in full. While this program will not cut off utilities in the winter months, it will cut participants off in the spring and summer. This cut off of service becomes an even bigger problem when people are trying to move - utility bills must be current in order to begin utilities in a new apartment. As a consequence, back-pay due on utility bills is a leading cause of homelessness, especially for families.
Pam and Thérèse hear an overwhelming amount of heartbreaking stories from mothers and fathers desperate to restore their utilities and maintain their housing. While unable to help everyone, for the 12-15 people they meet with each day, they are a lifeline. Our Daily Bread provides this high-impact support without receiving any government or United Way Funding. Alternatively, we rely heavily on our one annual fundraiser.
This year our event “We Go Together” Bebop N’ Hop, takes place on Saturday September 23, 2017 from 6-10PM. All proceeds benefit Our Daily Bread and your support helps Pam and Thérèse continue their life-changing work of restoring hope and stability to those who need us most. Get your tickets today!