After moving to the U.S. from Mexico over 20 years ago, Manuela managed to build a stable and loving home for her family here in Boulder. A savvy budgeter, Manuela knew how to stretch the $1,700 a month she earned as a hotel housekeeper to support her three children, and she even purchased a mobile home all on her own. It wasn’t much, but Manuela knew she could always count on paying her bills, putting food on the table, and taking care of her family.
That all changed when Manuela lost her job in March. By April, Boulder County would reach a 9.7% unemployment rate, leaving many of our neighbors without work. At first, Manuela was able to get by on her savings — she had nearly two months of expenses tucked away for emergencies. But as the weeks went on, it became clear that life wasn’t going to return to “normal” anytime soon … and her savings would eventually run out.
Since COVID-19 began wreaking havoc on our world and local economies, stories like Manuela’s have become all too common. Nearly one in five families that have come to EFAA since April have never needed help before. People who previously didn’t qualify for unemployment or SNAP benefits in the past now faced piles of paperwork and pending applications while their bills piled up.
Although Manuela owns her home, she still has to pay rent for her lot in the mobile home park. Because of community members like you, EFAA could cover her rent for June and half of July. Through our COVID-19 emergency response, EFAA has been able to help more people than ever before with higher levels of assistance per household. With her biggest expense now accounted for, Manuela is using the rest of her savings to meet her family’s other critical needs until she gets her job back. “[Before coming to EFAA] I did not know what I would do and was very worried. Due to EFAA’s help I did not have to worry anymore … I knew my family was going to be okay. I am very, very grateful.”