Last year, Kim came to our shelter in crisis. Our housing team worked with her to find one of the few places in town she could afford with her disability check, and about 30 days after she got to GRACE, she had a new place to call home.
If Kim showed up today, her story would sound like so many others we hear: The house she lived in had been sold. Her new landlord raised the rent by $350. Suddenly, her $750 disability check wasn’t enough to survive, let alone to pay for housing. And as a result, she’d have to stay in the shelter until an increasingly hard-to-find affordable apartment became available.
Gainesville rents rose by 20% last year, far outpacing increases in wages and cost-of-living adjustments. Food and gas prices rose almost 10%. That means people like Kim are coming to GRACE more frequently, and when they get here, they’re having to stay longer and longer while they try to make sense of a financial situation where the numbers just don’t add up.
Tonight, when people like Kim come back from their medical appointments, you can make sure there’s a hot meal waiting for them in the Cafe.
You can make sure that thousands of other people like Kim know there will always be food on the table when they get back to GRACE, whether they’ve been at the doctor, at work, or looking for a new apartment.
We’ve already seen almost 3,000 people come through the doors of Cafe 131 this year. We’ve had the honor of serving 130,000 meals already - almost 40,000 more than last year. Overall, we’ve served hundreds more people than usual, and the number of services we’ve provided has jumped by 50% just to meet their most basic needs.
With the price of everything - housing, utilities, food, and gas - going up, things aren’t getting easier for anyone. By donating $50.00 today, you can make sure that everyone who shows up at GRACE, whenever they get here and for however long they need to stay, has all the support they need to get off the street.
Jon DeCarmine, MS, CFRE
P.S. Your gift has a huge impact for folks like Kim. We are asking you to make a donation today. If you can help with that, we’ll take it from there, making sure everyone is treated kindly, with respect, and offered the support they need when they need it.