Jewish Family Services of Dutchess County established a dedicated fund, called the Emergency Fund for Jewish Families, to help individuals and families who are in a financial emergency, and who are unable to make a rent/mortgage payment, utility payment, purchase food or urgently needed medicine. Due to the recent economic downturn, there are increasing numbers of individuals and families in the Dutchess County Jewish community who are struggling with medium and long-term unemployment; Jewish clergy in the area have noted the need for additional financial resources to help these individuals and families. The Advisory Board of Jewish Family Services of Dutchess County seeks to provide additional help to these families, beyond the donations of supermarket gift cards which have been available through JFS to all families in need in the local community.
Currently, Jewish Family Services is accepting donations to the Emergency Fund for Jewish Families. Donations can be made in honor of a special event, such as a birthday or Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or in memory of a loved one. JFS will also offer publicity support to Bar and Bat Mitzvah students wishing to take on service projects where they raise money for the Emergency Fund for Jewish Families. Donations can be made online or checks can be sent to Jewish Family Services of Dutchess County, P.O. Box 2525., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603, with the notation “Emergency Fund”.
The Emergency Fund for Jewish Families plans to offer grants to any member of the Jewish community living or working in Dutchess County. Recipients may instead choose to receive the funds as an “honor loan” to be repaid to Jewish Family Services when the financial condition of the recipient improves. Grants can be requested in any amount up to $800, and will be considered on a confidential basis.
Grants can be requested in any amount up to $800, and will be considered on a confidential basis. Those interested in applying for grants will apply in person to Jewish Family Services of Dutchess County. Requests larger than $200 will be reviewed and approved confidentially by a committee of three volunteers drawn from the JFS Advisory board. Recipients of larger grants may be asked to complete participate in financial counseling with local agencies, such as the Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Awards will be based on documented need, and will require completion of an application, copies of personal financial documents (such as pay stubs, bills, tax returns), and two face-to-face meetings with the Director of Jewish Family Services. Applicants can contact JFS by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 845-471-9817 for further information.