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Meet Bryan:
Bryan first called the hotline when he didn’t have funds to pay rent after being laid off from his job as a result of the coronavirus crisis. He admitted to the case manager that he is not one to ask for help, so this call was extremely hard for him. When it came to choosing between feeding his one-year-old son or paying his landlord—it was a no-brainer. But that left Bryan, a single dad, feeling scared. Not only did he face uncertainty of when, or if, he would go back to work, but he was terrified that he may lose custody of his son if he found himself without a place to live. When asked if he had food in the home, he reported that he had some noodles and bread in the cabinet that could get them by…for a little while. Kari, the United Way case manager assigned to Bryan’s case, connected him with school breakfast sites near their home along with lunch pick up locations from the foodbank to make sure they could get by while we continued to coordinate resources to ensure he and his son remained housed and healthy.

Meet The Davis Family:
When Mr. Davis found out he was being laid off from his job, he felt sick to his stomach. His wife had already been laid off and the family now had no health insurance. While dealing with the crisis of losing 100% of their income, they faced another crisis—they were unable to afford the next cycle of prescriptions of the life-saving medication needed by their teenage son. The family’s United Way Case Manager helped them feel more relaxed by connecting them to resources for assistance and helped them rest assured knowing that their son will continue to have access to his medication during this crisis.

Meet Earl:
As groceries became increasingly scarce, Earl began to worry. As a homebound senior, he faced the threat of going days without food. He called the United Way of South Hampton Roads Coronavirus Hotline with support from ForKids to find out what assistance he qualified for. His United Way Case Manager quickly identified that Earl had numerous needs across multiple categories and connected him to several resources and food banks. Despite Earl’s financial distress, Earl refused financial assistance stating that he thought others might need it more. He continues to check in with his United Way Case Manager to monitor his progress and we continue to look for any gaps in service that Earl may experience.

Meet Gabrielle:
When she lost her job as a waitress due to the coronavirus crisis, Gabrielle quickly worked in attempt to find another job. She was able to secure a part-time job pet sitting for a few neighbors while waiting for unemployment, but this income couldn’t come close to covering her family’s monthly expenses. Gabrielle’s bills began piling up as she struggled to pay for things like food, gas and medication for herself and her family. When unemployment did begin coming in, it was short lived, and she inexplicably stopped receiving unemployment checks. Despite days of back-and-forth conversations, she still had no answers as to why she wasn’t receiving unemployment. At this point, she decided to call the United Way of South Hampton Roads Coronavirus Response Hotline with support from ForKids. Gabrielle’s Case Manager supported her with resources to help her find jobs to apply for and she received financial assistance from the United Way Coronavirus Recovery Fund. Gabrielle shared that she felt a weight lifted off her shoulders and for the first time in months felt hopeful about her family’s future during this crisis.

Meet The Hart Family:
Every day, Mrs. Hart and her young son wave goodbye as their dad heads out the door with his mask on. They are thankful for his paycheck, however the family already struggled to make ends meet before Mrs. Hart was laid off during the coronavirus crisis. Each day, they grew increasingly worried as they waited for relief in the form of stimulus or unemployment checks…but neither came as their fridge began to run low on food. That is when they decided to call the United Way of South Hampton Roads Coronavirus Response Hotline with support from ForKids. Their case manager helped the family navigate the unemployment system, helped them identify local food distribution sites and directed them to call their bank for an update on the stimulus check. While the family’s immediate needs were met, their United Way case manager continues to monitor their case for potential resources that may be a suitable fit.

Meet James:
Being without a car has its challenges, especially for James and his wife Ruth. The couple had run out of food more than a week ago and had been getting sick from hunger. That is when James heard about the United Way of South Hampton Roads Coronavirus Response Hotline with support from ForKids and decided to make the call. James’ case manager understood the urgency of the situation and quickly worked to make a list of food and essential items that James needed. Within two hours, supplies were safely delivered to their home in Suffolk. James continues to work with his United Way case manager to make sure they maintain steady access to resources in the future.

Meet Jessie:
Before the coronavirus pandemic, things were looking up for Jessie. She had just recently left a domestic violence situation and secured three jobs to have her own place with bills in her name. As the crisis continued to worsen, she found herself being laid off from each job leaving her with a total loss of income. She called the United Way of South Hampton Roads Coronavirus Response Hotline seeking assistance with her utility bills. Her United Way Case Manager not only provided her with direct financial assistance, but also worked to help her navigate unemployment. Currently, she is in a stable situation and receiving unemployment checks to offset her income loss. However, most importantly, she is safe and independent and will stay that way thanks to the support of our community.

Meet Katrina:
Katrina is the sole provider for her three children. As a single mother receiving no child support, she works two jobs to make ends meet. When businesses began closing their doors due to the coronavirus crisis, Katrina was laid off from both jobs. This left her with no source of income and three children depending on her. When she called the United Way of South Hampton Roads Coronavirus Response Hotline with support from ForKids, her voice was shaky as she held back tears. While Katrina was used to living paycheck-to-paycheck, she’d never before worried about not being able to feed her children. Soon after the layoffs, Katrina was able to set up deferred payment plans for several of her bills—however when she returns to work, she will have to pay these deferments in addition to her recurring monthly payments. The unemployment checks she is receiving each week help, but they do not come close to providing the full support her family needs. Not only was her United Way case manager able to connect her with several resources to address her immediate food insecurities, but Katrina was also identified as an ideal participant for United Way’s mobility mentoring-inspired program: Aspire. In this program, Katrina will work one-on-one with a coach at a United Way partner agency to help her work towards becoming self-sufficient. Katrina expressed her sincere gratitude to her case manager for the assistance she received and looks forward to a brighter future for her family thanks to the Aspire program. As a token of her appreciation, she ended the call with her case manager by seeking volunteer opportunities so that she may utilize the time she has to help others experiencing need.

Meet Mora:
Mora called the hotline when she felt she had nowhere else to turn. With limited income, chronic health challenges and no reliable transportation—she was scared. Due to her age, she didn’t want to risk using public transportation to get food and necessities and United Way was the first organization she thought to turn to. We arranged for one of our partner agencies to begin delivering groceries and meals to her doorstep. The case manager could hear the relief in Mora’s voice, and Mora shared that she felt safer and healthier already.

Meet The Richards Family:
Emily is a bright student with a passion for learning. Denise, Emily’s mom, has always tried to provide Emily with opportunities for a better future. The two rent a trailer and Denise works long hours cleaning houses for a living. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, she is now out of work. Since Emily needs internet to attend her virtual classes, Denise has tried cutting costs every way she can and now struggles to pay for basic necessities. “The future is scary, I don’t know how I will pay my bills,” said Denise. “I wanted to go to search for food in churches, but at the same time…I’ve got to save my gas.” The family’s United Way case manager was able to connect them with various resources including financial assistance and food distribution sites closer to their home.

Meet Sandra:
Sandra called in during the first week of our hotline operation. She is the primary caretaker for her aging husband and her adult son is in college. She was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at a local hospital but lost her income as part of the furloughs in our community. Sandra had to choose between buying food for her family or keeping up with her prescriptions and breathing treatments. She felt like she could power through as long as her husband and son were cared for, so she was ready to spend her remaining savings on them. A case manager from the response team coordinated by United Way helped Sandra prioritize her crisis budget, navigate unemployment benefits, and access direct financial assistance from our recovery fund to ensure a steady supply of medications at home. She is continuing her treatments and even managed to save a little to buy pink blankets for a recently born grandbaby.

Meet William:
William was used to spending a lot of time in his car as a rideshare driver, but when he lost all income during the coronavirus crisis, he suddenly faced the realization that his car may soon be his home. William had been living out of a motel for the past three months while he saved up money for a security deposit, and now found himself on the brink of homelessness. He called the United Way of South Hampton Roads Coronavirus Response Hotline with support from ForKids hoping to change his situation. He was partnered with a United Way case manager who is actively helping him prioritize his budget while working with our partners to find him stable and safe housing.

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