These are hard times. For everyone. For some of us, this has been a severe disruption to our daily lives. For others, it is an absolute emergency. NLEN serves a population of people who are among the hardest hit by the coronavirus in the US. We work with formerly incarcerated people, at-risk youth, and other Chicago residents to get jobs and make the most of their finances. They dealt with daily uncertainty before the US unemployment rate was at 13%. Now, their challenges are only compounded by the coronavirus.
The Need is Real
In Chicago, 70% of deaths related to COVID-19 as of April 5 were African American residents, which only makes more apparent how entrenched the city's public health disparities are. But it's not just the virus our clients have to worry about. Many of them have lost their only source of income or are working critical jobs while relying on public transportation. There are a million things to worry about: "How will I pay for groceries for my family this week?" "How can I get to the grocery store safely?" "Can I keep the lights on this month?" "If I get sick, will I be able to get the care I need?" "How do I do all this while homeschooling my kids?" These are the anxieties of people who are facing enormous barriers. We may not be able to solve all of their problems, but your gift today could give them one less thing to worry about. Every bit helps to get our clients through this crisis. 100% of your donation will go directly to clients to support their immediate needs.
Give to Win!
As a token of our gratitude, the first 30 people to donate $50 or more will receive a (thoroughly sanitized) prize in the mail! We have prizes generously donated by individuals and local businesses all over Chicago. Just make sure to give us your address when you donate!
How are we doing? Thanks for asking!
While your generosity is helping us meet the basic needs of our clients, we are using technology to help them cope with the present and plan for the future. For the past month, we have been engaging with our clients in new ways, offering job-readiness classes on Zoom, doing one-on-one check-ins and coaching sessions by phone, conducting virtual college visits. Below is a picture from our first-ever Virtual Milestone Ceremony, during which we celebrated those graduating from our U-Turn Permitted 4-week job readiness program. Even in times such as these, we are fully committed to creating a community that works.