You can change a young person’s life right now. Help us raise $15,000 to fund loans for the Homeless Student Loan Fund at Jewish Free Loan. Your donation directly supports loans that help college students experiencing homelessness get the money they need to afford housing. Thank you to Bruce Whizin for his generous kickoff donation. Thank you also to our anonymous donor who will match all donations up to $25,000.
Meet JFLA Homeless Student Loan Fund recipient Hector. My parents came to this country from Mexico. They would always tell me, "Son, you need to go to college. We don't want you to live the lives we lived of constant worry and sorrow, worrying if you will have food to feed your children for the day." When they decided to move to Texas, I stayed in L.A. to focus on my education. The decision to live on my own was one of the most difficult paths I have ever taken. Without anyone to rely on, I experienced the hardship of struggling to find a job, a place to sleep, food to eat, while trying to attend college without any guidance. I would rely solely on financial aid, and at times sleep in my car. If I got lucky, I would get the chance to sleep on a friend's couch. However, I somehow managed to always stay afloat, stay strong, and move forward.
When I transferred to USC, I was so happy to be at such a prestigious school. My tuition is paid for but I didn’t have money to pay for housing. I have one more year left and I did not want to drop out. JFLA gave me a loan when I was stressed out and didn’t know where to look for help. Without the loan I wouldn’t have been able to pay my rent. I would have been evicted and homeless again and would have had to sleep in my car. JFLA made a big difference in my life.
Meet JFLA Homeless Student Loan Fund recipient Everett. Everett grew up in Savannah, Georgia and was in and out of foster care from the time he was 9 years old. With his father overseas and his mother a longtime drug addict, life was difficult to say the least. At 15 Everett left the foster care system and was completely on his own, supporting himself with computer programming jobs. A devoted high school teacher pushed Everett to apply to college. He was accepted at USC where he is studying physics and computer science.
Everett’s financial aid package covers tuition but not living expenses. Paying for rent this summer was a challenge. With no family support and nowhere else to turn, Everett came to JFLA where he was approved for a loan. “I tried a bunch of places and nobody would give me a loan. JFLA helped me secure housing for the summer. Now that I don’t have to worry about paying the rent for a few months, I am able to pursue my goals and pour myself into learning.”
Homeless college students don't aways look "homeless." Meet JFLA Homeless Student Loan Fund recipient Ashley. Ashley was placed in foster care when she was ten. She lived in a series of foster homes; her life became a whirlwind of uncertainty. The shortest time she spent at a school was six days. The longest was one year. Switching schools constantly meant that she was always the "new kid" and made it difficult to make friends.
Without the support of family in her life, Ashley latched onto education as a way to stay afloat. “If there was anything that I was certain of, it was that education could liberate me from the shackles of poverty,” Ashley said. She applied to 12 colleges on her own and chose USC because she felt it would be the best fit. After paying her own way to Los Angeles, Ashley started at USC in the fall of 2016. She made it through freshman and sophomore year, always scrambling for housing. This year, things were rough. Her phone was stolen and she could not find work. She started falling behind on her rent.
It was then that Ashley turned to Jewish Free Loan, where she was approved for a loan immediately. Ashley walked out with a check the same day she came in. Eliminating this financial stress lifted a huge burden. Ashley now had the money she needed to pay her rent.
"Loans are very difficult to get, especially when you don’t have anyone to turn to. Thank you to JFLA for expediting the whole process."
THANK YOU for your support!
Jewish Free Loan Association is a nonprofit agency offering assistance to people of all faiths facing financial challenges. Since 1904, JFLA has provided a helping hand instead of a handout to hundreds of thousands of people through interest-free loans for emergencies, education, developing small businesses, healthcare and life cycle events.