Sudden illness and subsequent loss of income: it’s a common story from many hardworking people who ask for assistance from Together We Cope. Even as the paychecks shrink, or disappear altogether, the medical bills begin arriving.

Such was the case for Evie, her husband and daughter. They were managing their finances and keeping up with their bills. Then Evie’s husband became ill and needed surgery for a double hernia. With no health insurance, the medical event triggered a financial crisis in just a few weeks. Her husband was off work without pay for three weeks, and then another two weeks with just half pay. He was responsible for his medical bills, and they began rolling in as he recovered from his surgery. He was given a payment plan from his healthcare providers.

No sooner had Evie’s husband gotten back on his feet, when their daughter became very ill and eventually was diagnosed with a throat disorder. Surgery followed, as did a second stream of medical bills. Together, Evie and her husband tried to work their way through the crisis until a few months later when they fell behind one month on the rent and feared a potential eviction.

That’s when they asked for help from Together We Cope. Working out a budget for the family, a TWC client services staffer realized the family could return to self-sufficiency if the past due rent could be paid. They had enough money for current utility bills and the current month’s rent, but the past due rent was too big a hurdle to clear given their medical payments.

TWC was able to help the family by paying the past due rent and providing groceries for their immediate needs. “Now, with Evie caught up on her rent, she can focus on the well-being of her husband and young daughter,” said the TWC staffer.

Helping families deal with a temporary crisis, with an emphasis on preventing them from becoming homeless, is Together We Cope’s mission. A full 89% of every dollar donated to the agency goes directly to client services, giving someone like Evie hope for her family’s future.