Poverty has a new face in our community, a painful truth that Jewish Social Services (JSS) staff and volunteers feel it’s important people should know.
“We’re seeing more middle class poverty,” said JSS director, Carol Krames. “Companies are restructuring and letting people go who are in their 50s and 60s and it’s really hard to find something when you’re that age. It’s a very new and difficult situation.”
“In addition, many of our clients are living on disability pensions, which, at $1,200 a month, is hardly enough to make ends meet,” said Krames.
Beyond sheer physical needs is a psychological dimension, said JSS chair, Susan Roth, “Jewish tradition tells us that we are supposed to try to help people live according to the standard that they’re used to. We are not capable of doing that as an agency because we don’t have the money. But we do have a moral obligation to help people survive.”