“Shocked” was the emotion Levi used to describe how he felt after reading the notice sent out by his health insurance provider. There had been some kind of error with his premium calculations, so he would have a temporary spike in his monthly premium costs to correct the issue—to the tune of over $500 each month, for three consecutive months. “It felt so unfair–we’re getting penalized for someone else’s mistake.”
Providing for a family of six requires nearly flawless budgeting skills, even with both parents working full-time. Luckily, before the onset of this new higher bill, Levi’s family was current with all their payments, but there was nothing left over each month to save for an emergency—and now, with an extra $500 added to the monthly budget, the family knew they’d inevitably fall behind on something, and he was worried that it would be their rent.
Like many of us, Levi was not fond of asking for help, and didn’t even know where to start; but the fact was that if he didn’t, their large family could soon be homeless. Levi was proactive: he worked over the family budget to cut expenses, spoke with their landlord, who graciously agreed to a payment arrangement with them, but at the end of the day, their income still wouldn’t stretch far enough to cover everything.
That’s when Levi got connected to Bridges of Hope. Levi knew he couldn’t afford to hesitate, and called Bridges for what he thought would just be possible help with rent. After doing an intake, one of our Resource Specialists referred him to several resources that the family qualified for; including Energy Assistance, which would in turn free up money that the family could use to pay their rent.
After making sure all of the existing community resources were exhausted, Bridges was able to utilize its internal funding to assist the family with one month’s worth of rent, and Levi’s family was able to come up with the rest. An eviction notice was never sent out, their premiums went back down to their regular amount, and Levi and his family were able to move forward, keeping all of their bills current. During a follow-up call, Levi shared with staff, “I didn’t think there was a way out; we couldn’t have done this without you.”
While reaching out for help may not be easy for many, it is our hope to make the process of receiving assistance less painful and much less confusing. Because of our generous donors and supporters like you, families like Levi’s have a place to call when they need help. Thank you for helping build Bridges in the Lakes Area!