When Travis, a 30-year-old single father of two, had to leave work while recovering from a back injury, it wasn’t long before he got behind on his utility bill – and the idea of facing a winter without heat suddenly seemed all too likely.
Travis isn’t alone. Rental and utility assistance are consistently the highest unmet needs in Anchorage. Utility bills are climbing, placing added stress on limited budgets, leaving families to struggle with tough decisions when they are faced with temporary unemployment, unexpected medical expenses or reduced work hours. Some have to choose between spending their last dollars on food, shelter or medicine. Some leave their homes altogether, sleeping on couches, in vehicles or in the streets.
Did you know: Helping a family back into permanent housing after an episode of homelessness is difficult, stressful and costly. But most families can successfully avoid homelessness with limited financial assistance. In 2012, Walk for Warmth raised enough funds to keep 61 families from becoming homeless.
The need for Walk for Warmth is clear. By replenishing the exhausted resources of rental and utility assistance in our community, will keep families housed – and prevent family financial instability from ever reaching a crisis point. That’s why we’re inviting you to support United Way’s 3rd Annual Walk for Warmth — a powerful way for you to help.
On February 9, 2013, warm-hearted walkers will brave the cold TOGETHER, UNITED in their efforts to raise awareness and critical funds to help struggling Anchorage families stay housed and warm during these cold months.
All are welcome to join in the advocacy walk. Fundraise as a team or individual. Log on to www.liveunitedanchorage.org for more info.
Sometimes, a little bit of help with rent or utility bills can be the only assistance needed to keep a family from slipping through the cracks. The funds raised from Walk for Warmth helped Travis’ family make ends meet. “I was so thankful,” said Travis. “There was actually someone out there that could help in this extreme time of need.”
Together we can do great things, Living United.