Dear EIS Friends and Supporters:
Hurricane Sandy has demonstrated exactly what it would be like to be faced with the loss of our homes. It’s no longer an unimaginable event for many of our neighbors. Every day at EIS we continue to assist New Yorkers to stay in their homes, although it’s usually misfortune, a traumatic life event or interruption, rather than a natural disaster, which brings men and women to EIS. Most EIS clients who face the advent of homelessness have been life-long New Yorkers. They can be long-term workers recently laid off, seniors with mild dementia who have lost a spouse or who have apartment clutter issues and are barely getting by on fixed incomes, or even young families challenged to keep a home for children. EIS clients are your neighbors, friends, colleagues and relatives of all ages, and they are increasingly facing homelessness every day in NYC.
What does EIS do to help tenants stay in their homes or apartments? EIS offers tenants free legal advice to help prevent misunderstandings about leases, apartment coop conversions, tenant rights and eviction by landlords. EIS can act directly or in housing court as an ombudsman between landlords and tenants. EIS can sometimes help to avoid tenant eviction by offering temporary one-time financial assistance to qualified tenants with rental arrears. EIS offers social worker counseling to help tenants to confront their apartment clutter issues as well as home visits from housing advocates. EIS helps tenants with mild dementia to balance a checkbook or we provide them with benefits entitlement counseling. EIS offers advice and information so tenants can advocate for themselves!
One notable EIS client, for example, was Jan, a 57-year-old native New Yorker who majored in Classics at Hunter College, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and was employed for 25 years at a small knitting design business in New York City. She loved her job designing, knitting and working with wool, but she never earned a lot, just enough to survive and rent an apartment until her employer’s business closed. With hardly any savings or benefits nor any pension, Jan suddenly became unemployed with very few job prospects, and she soon fell behind in making apartment rent payments. Fortunately, however, Jan discovered EIS and we offered her counsel and rent assistance to help her stay in her apartment while she looked for employment. Jan later found steady, reliable, long-term freelance work. She recently wrote to EIS:
“I wanted to call and thank you, but during work times it is difficult… I am still struggling,
but am no longer afraid of losing the roof over my head. So heaps of grateful thanks to EIS.”
Each time EIS prevents homelessness by saving tenants in a household from being evicted, EIS benefits all of the particular individuals involved by helping them avoid personal disaster, and, of course, it also benefits landlords with rental income. However, by avoiding homelessness, EIS also saves New York City taxpayers $30,000 per household, which is actually the current cost of maintaining each displaced person in the NYC shelter system! There are also some other important benefits, as EIS intervention boosts the quality of life for all New Yorkers because a landlord does get their rent money and a building tends to have better-informed tenant residents who are motivated to give back and to work to sustain themselves.
EIS does NOT charge fees for participation in our programs or services. We appreciate the continued financial support which EIS receives from foundations, religious benevolence groups and funding from NYC agencies through elected officials. EIS is grateful for the many volunteers, professionals and students who work with us daily, each one a generous-hearted citizen who wants to prevent homelessness by helping people in need.
Just as EIS clients struggle to make it from month to month, EIS has really been struggling, too. Although EIS moved into the basement of the Grace Institute on the Upper East Side from the nearby church space we occupied for many years, EIS has become a much smaller and leaner organization than we were a few years ago. In New York City’s weak 2012 economy, unemployment is still very high and affordable housing is shrinking severely. EIS funding from potential New York City, State and federal contract sources has dramatically dropped, and other corporate and charitable sources of EIS funding have also declined because of the continued fiscal uncertainty. Yet today, during this challenging economic time matched with high NYC rents, EIS has been facing a surge in the sheer numbers of low to middle-class NYC neighbors facing eviction or homelessness. Many, like Jan, never faced homelessness before; they’ve always had a steady job and kept up with their rent until now.
Many of our clients report that “there’s no place else to go except to EIS,”-please help us to help you and your neighbors by making sure EIS will be able to survive through 2013!! During this season of giving, sharing and caring, please consider helping EIS Housing Resource Center. Please mail your tax-deductible contribution in the enclosed, self-addressed envelope or visit our website at: http://www.eisny.org and just click on the website’s colorful “click-a-brick” symbol for help lending your financial support for the mission, and clients of EIS. To paraphrase EIS client, Jan, heaps of grateful thanks to you!!
Audrey Berman Tannen Ellen FitzGerald
EIS Executive Director President, EIS Board of Directors
You can support EIS Housing Resource Center in a variety of ways:
- Direct Contributions
- Gifts Of Stocks, Securities, or Mutual Funds
- Remembering Eviction Intervention Services in your will
- Gifts of Life Insurance, Retirement Plans, Real Estate and other assets
- Charitable Trusts
To make a donation online please click the bricks in the left column and you will be transferred to a secure site (NY Charities).
For more information call EIS at 212-308-2210 or e-mail us at email@example.com.