Why Does HNOJ Have a Second Collection for Interfaith Outreach?
Good question! Holy Name of Jesus has long partnered with Interfaith Outreach because they are best equipped to help our neighbors with food, housing needs, employment and so much more!
For 26 years, Interfaith Outreach has hosted a Sleep Out. The Sleep Out is their (and our) community’s annual eight-week series of events and experiences to raise awareness and 3 million dollars to prevent homelessness and create opportunities for everyone in our community to thrive.
Holy Name of Jesus has supported the Sleep Out in many ways over these 26 years. One of those ways is the second collection, which will be held the weekend of Nov. 20-21. By participating in the second collection we support Interfaith Outreach in preventing homelessness and in giving people tangible resources to better their situation. Why do we support Interfaith Outreach through a second collection? Because people like Narciso and Diana are our neighbors, and they need our help. Read on to hear their story:
“Interfaith Has Been a Humongous Blessing”
Narciso and his wife moved to Plymouth during a time in their lives when work was steady and times were good. He had a well-paying job and they lived in an apartment they could afford. They experienced the abundance this great Twin Cities community had to offer and were able to live near his employer. “Many people told me living in this area would be too expensive. But I thought, I want to live here. I'm a truck driver. I make good money,” he told us. Then COVID-19 hit. Like so many others living with high medical risk, Narciso had to leave his job.
When Narciso and Diana needed support to make ends meet, Interfaith’s dedicated case managers, housing team, food shelf and employment services staff were ready to help. Thanks to Sleep Out donors, they did not get evicted in their time of need. Interfaith provided rent assistance while Narciso worked hard to learn additional job skills needed to build his own businesses: candy making and Spanish interpreting. His housing case manager, Ruth Olthoff, also continues to assist in his search for affordable housing. As the eviction moratorium lifts and unemployment benefits end, many neighbors like Narciso and Diana are struggling to get financially caught up.
The question is…where can they go? Their rent costs $1,400 per month and their current household income is about $1,500. The math just does not work.
“I'll be the first to admit we are living beyond our means right now because I'm disabled. My wife has taken a part-time job, but we still really can't afford [to live] where we're at. I’ve paid the rent here for many years, and now I can't. I feel like I don’t belong. Knowing I’ll have to go find something that I can afford, I am fighting as much as I can to not let the waterworks come out. It’s difficult, but Interfaith has been a humongous blessing.”
Together we can work to make sure families like Narciso and Diana know they DO belong here. We can build a community where all can thrive. Please support the second collection on Nov. 20-21, 2021 with prayers and financial support as you are able.