Lisa F. is a single Mom. She works hard at a good steady job and earns a bit below what is considered median income in this country. The fact that she lives in one of New York City’s five boroughs certainly explains, in part, why that income does not always cover her needs. She’s bright, independent and self-sustaining…and also profoundly deaf.
About a year ago the stable, well-ordered life Lisa had built started to unravel when she incurred extra expenses for childcare. Consumer credit cards, something she always managed carefully, took a hit and then she fell behind in her rent.
We learned about Lisa from Liz and Bruce Gitlin, founders of the New York Center for Law and Justice. Bruce, an attorney, and Liz, a social worker, began the Center in 2010 to help the New York indigent deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
Working together with the Gitlins, it soon became apparent that there was no extra money to be found in Lisa’s already lean budget. Despite many legal maneuvers, this morning Lisa received what she had always feared…an eviction notice.
When Liz Gitlin called us at 3:30 this afternoon and shared this story we knew
we could help. A Good People Fund check for $1885 is on the way to New York and Lisa and her daughter will no longer live with the threat of eviction and homelessness. We hope our donors who make these kinds of things possible, realize just how important their tzedakah is and how many lives it really does save.
Postscript: Liz just called with the most amazing story about what happened when she told Lisa that the rent was being paid by an anonymous donor and that she would no longer need to worry about eviction. With the help of an interpreter, Lisa slowly explained the situation. Lisa’s face did not change–it was clear that the message was not getting through…was it the word "anonymous"? They tried again. Suddenly, the message did get through and this deaf woman’s eyes grew wide with understanding. Unable to utter words, only sounds came forth, but it was clear that these were sounds of joy. Liz then called Lisa’s daughter and explained what had happened, the interpreter signing the conversation for Lisa at the same time. When Lisa heard her daughter’s screams and laughter, she too broke into tears of happiness and relief…a mother now certain that she could keep her family safe and out of harm’s way.
It was a good day.