STORIES OF IMPACT: Frank and Sam*
(*Not their real names)
For the past seven years, brothers Frank and Sam have had their mail addressed and delivered to the Jewish Federation. They have done this, as they had, until recently, no actual address. The brothers are in their 60’s and the older, Frank, is a Vietnam War veteran. For ten years, they lived in a rundown, leaky, bug-infested trailer. They had no running water and often went without food for days at a time. Frank and Sam are proud, and have never asked for help, though Jewish Federation has provided them with a phone, and some food and clothing.
Recently, Jewish Family Service (a department of Federation) began a casework management program and contracted with social work trainee, Luke Barrett. Luke immediately got to work helping the brothers, very much on the fringes of our Jewish community, to find a habitable place to live, and to access their rightful social and medical benefits. Luke has moved Frank and Sam into the PATH shelter (formerly Casa Esperanza) where they can be safe, clean, and nourished - and is helping them build a new life for themselves.
Your generosity made this happen and changed the lives of two neglected members of our community. With your support, just think how many more lives, that together, we can impact...
(The trailer where Frank and Sam lived for ten years)
Federation receptionist Christina Ambriz talks to the brothers whenever they come to pick up their mail. She says "[Frank] came for his bank card and I gave him shoes [donated by Deckers]. He was so happy about the shoes and said it was the first time since the war that he'd had a new pair. I also gave him 2 cans of soup and some more gefilte fish - they loved it!! And a bag of candy and two sodas.. I told him, you have dinner and dessert, and something new to wear! I feel overwhelmed a bit at how thankful he was. He went to shake my hand and I hugged him. He told me how grateful he was for me. I told him it’s my pleasure to help him. I love making this kind of stuff happen."
STORIES OF IMPACT: Sonial and Betty Slosburg
At 101 and 98 years old, Sonial and Betty Slosburg still possessed the cognitive ability, emotional depth, and life-affirming spirit to live out their final years with dignity, awareness, and as much enjoyment as possible. But, they faced physical and emotional challenges in adjusting to life in a nursing home. Their daughter, Susan, reached out to Jewish Family Service for help.
Clinical Services and Senior Programs Coordinator Nina Mahaffey, MFT, RN, met with the Slosburgs every week for over a year, to provide counseling and supportive senior services. Susan says that, “Nina eased the transition for everyone… It was just the most important and helpful way to support us. Nina’s perspective was unique and we really relied on her weekly visits.”
Sonial and Betty both died peacefully in their sleep, just 15 days apart after a marriage of more than 76 years. Susan chose to hold their memorial service at Federation’s Bronfman Family JCC. There she realized the depth of the connection forged between her parents and Nina, who is firm in her commitment that “JFS be there to support our community’s elders so that they, like the Slosburgs, can live out their years with pleasure and grace.”