Domestic Poverty

Josefina and Metro CareRing

February 24, 2016
Domestic Poverty

The following is an account of Josefina and her family, participants at Metro CareRing in Denver, Colorado.

Josefina, a Metro CareRing participant who had been receiving occasional food assistance for several years, met with a Resource Specialist to discuss some financial problems that her family had been having. Josefina felt fortunate to have a stable full-time job, but it was very low-paying and she was supporting her daughter and grandson, who both lived with her. During her initial interview, it was revealed that Josefina’s daughter – who was not working and did not have insurance – had a form of cancer and her doctor was recommending a hysterectomy. Josefina could not afford the $5,000 the hospital was requesting as a deposit, and she did not know what to do to get her daughter treatment.

The Resource Specialist asked some more questions to get the details of Josefina’s situation, then researched Metro CareRing’s resource database and conferred with staff to determine what other community assets were available to Josefina. Staff determined that Josefina might be eligible for an Exceptional Assistance Grant through a local foundation. These grants are reserved for people who experience exceptional situations that hinder their ability to realize their self-sufficiency potential. Metro CareRing applied for a grant on Josefina’s behalf for a percentage of the operation deposit, and the local foundation decided Josefina’s case was compelling enough to pay the entire $5,000. Thanks to these efforts, Josefina was able to potentially save her daughter’s life without destroying the family’s financial situation.