Islanders feel the benefit of your donations in many ways.
From time to time, we'll post true stories of how you help to improve the quality of life for those in need. As you'll see from the stories below, we're often called upon to help people in quite unique ways.
A Creative Solution.
Susan is a middle aged lady, part of a large family that settled on Hilton Head decades ago. About a year ago she was diagnosed with a very serious cancer, and at that time we gave her gas cards to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. Susan called us just last week to see if we could help her with the co-pay of her doctor bill. She is unable to work and gets a disability check that does not even cover all her basic needs. Paying medical bills is not a service we provide, so we suggested to Susan that we could help with her mortgage payment, freeing her funds for other bills. Susan brought us her mortgage bill and we were able to pay a full month's mortgage for her. In the course of following up with the doctor's office, the manager there said she would do her best to get the bill discounted. We feel that when Islanders have a serious illness, all they should be concerned with is getting through the treatments and getting well. Deep Well will continue to be on hand to help Susan and others like her.
Aging in Place.
This term describes what happens eventually to all of us; but living close to the poverty line presents additional challenges. Joe and June had been together for over 40 years. At age 76, June was more than a decade older than Joe and had not been able to work for the past 5 years due to poor health. Joe was still working, so between his salary and her social security check, their bills were paid with just a little to spare. When June died last month, her minimal social security ended. Joe was caught short on his rent, and he turned to us for help. Deep Well interviewed Joe and learned that he had a plan in place to solve the problem; however he needed help with the coming month's rent. Deep Well paid his rent and Joe will be getting a roommate to help with future rent payments.
It is hard to imagine going through the grief of losing your life partner and also having to worry about keeping a roof over your head. Donations made to The Deep Well Project provided financil relief for Joe during this devastating time in his life.
When Catastrophe Strikes.
Martha is a middle aged woman living alone with a job that allows her to pay her monthly bills, yet is not enough to allow for any savings. Last month she had a fire in her rental home that left it uninhabitable. She could temporarily stay with friends, but was looking to Deep Well to help her get into a new place. Meanwhile, her caring employer called to tell us about her situation and her needs.
After another 2 weeks, Martha called back. She had found a new living situation that she could afford, yet she didn't have enough money for both the rent and deposit. Deep Well was able to help with a full month's rent after Martha paid her deposit. We also sent her a voucher that would allow her to come to our facility and pick out furniture at no charge.
Fires can certainly be devastating, yet we are glad that it was not tragic with loss of life. Deep Well will always be here to help fire victims put their lives back together.
Help with dignity.
Edna and Sara are mother and daughter living together in an older mobile home with several children and grandchildren. Both women have always worked, and even though their jobs were low-paying, they managed to pay their bills every month. Their income had no room for saving for needed home maintenance and repairs. This spring, Edna called our office and spoke with Rita Jones, head of the Deep Well Livable Housing program, to ask for help with a leaky roof. Upon inspection, it was evident that an entire new roof would be needed and several roofers submitted quotes.
But, bad news follows bad news! The roofers were nearly done with the new roof when the air conditioner went out during a brutally hot summer. The unit was very old and it also needed a total replacement. We were able to get estimates quickly and within a short time the family was cool again. A basic tenet of any Deep Well program is to provide a way that a client can retain dignity within the need for help. Whenever expensive work is done on a home and the clients are working, we ask them to repay at least part of the expense. The amount is determined by sitting with a client during a budgeting session and a "down payment" with a modest monthly repayment rate is agreed upon. In some cases this amount may be as little as $10 a month. It is our experience that clients proudly come into our office to make their repayments. In this way, they just feel better about accepting help on such a large scale.