In October 1990, the St. Raymond Homeless Family Fund was created out of the work of a small group Renew program.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all in profound ways but falling disproportionately on marginalized and vulnerable populations.
In responding to the signs of the times, the Homeless Family Fund at St. Raymond Parish is partnering with Catholic Charities San Mateo and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in East Palo Alto to identify individuals and families in need of support to cover basic necessities and to provide information referrals to other services and opportunities in the County.
In early September 2020, Fr. Goode supported a single mother and her four children (15, 12, 11, and 7) who had been living in their car in the Parish parking lot in finding a vacant unit in East Palo Alto. He was able to provide support for part of the security deposit but referred the single mother to the Catholic Charities and the Homeless Family Fund for additional support.
In early October 2020, St. Raymond Parish was able to provide two months rental assistance in the amount of $3,950 (October and November) and the remaining funds needed for the security deposit. This has allowed her children to be in a safe place to engage in online learning and to allow for some stability as she begins to look for ways to continue to support her family. Catholic Charities has also provided referrals for other benefits the family may qualify for at this time.
In August 2020, a single, widowed mother lost her job due to COVID, putting herself and her three adult children (23 years old and 18-year old fraternal twins) at risk of losing their home. Since losing her husband seven years ago, the mother has been the primary source of income for the family, with her children in school and working part-time here and there. At the time of intake, the family had exhausted all of their financial reserves.
St. Raymond Parish, through the Homeless Family Fund, was able to provide $3,100 (two months) of support to allow the family to stay in their home. Since providing support, the mother and oldest daughter have been actively looking for employment that enables them to sustain their housing moving forward and the twins continue their online schooling.
In late September 2020, Fr. Goode referred a 62-year old woman living in East Palo Alto who lost her job in August 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Formally incarcerated and living on the street, Fr. Goode had originally supported the woman to find secure and safe housing. After losing her job, though, the individual was unable to pay her rent.
The parish provided $3,600 in rental support for the months of September and October, preventing her from being evicted and ending up back on the street. Catholic Charities also provided referrals to other services. Subsequently, the woman has found employment and is able to support herself.
In early October 2020, Fr. Goode of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in East Palo Alto referred a young single mother and her 4-month old daughter to Catholic Charities for rental support. He had been supporting her with food and a bus pass during the summer, but knew she was about to be kicked out of the room she was renting as she has been in arrears since May 2020 when she lost her job cleaning houses due to the shelter-in-place order from the COVID-19 pandemic. The child’s father left the mother shortly after he found out she was pregnant.
The Parish was able to provide $5,000 in rental assistance to support the young mother in covering three months of rental support in arrears and rent for the months of October and November. Catholic Charities is working with the young mom to provide referrals for childcare services, information about where she can receive in-kind food support, and possible employment opportunities.
Interested in accompanying a family with the provision of in-kind goods or gifts during the holidays? Please reach out to: HFF@straymondmp.org.
In order to continue to support vulnerable families, please make donations payable to St. Raymond Homeless Family Fund. They may be placed in the collection basket, sent to the parish office or through the St. Raymond website at http://www.straymondmp.org/donate.
Thank you for your continued support!