*We've edited the goal to reflect the donations that have come through our website, the mail, and the silent auction! Thank you!
I’m writing this note to you on a beautiful - and abnormally warm - day in November. The sun is out, the dog is at my feet, and I’m stealing this moment to revel in my gratitude for you and this community. The amount of tragedy, anxiety, and fear we rub elbows with these days can leave anyone feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. It is a constant (and fierce) battle to choose to live through love - the expansive, ever-flowing kind that drives us to do good. To get up every day and choose abundance over scarcity. Compassion over compliance. Radiance over toxicity.
After nine months of us pulling together over and over again, we’ve kept people housed and without fear of their lights being turned off and with enough food on the table. I know you are devoted to taking care of your community even when the numbers are against us. In Louisville, 16,000 people are past due on their water bill when just last year only 500 households were facing a shutoff. 26,000 families could be facing an eviction right after Christmas (the rental delinquency rate has gone from 5% to 30% since COVID-19).
In spite of these terrifying numbers, we are also building systems to help more people than ever. As you know, South Louisville Community Ministries works daily to keep our friends, family, and neighbors currently experiencing crisis from falling into the spiral of poverty. This year we provided rent, utility, and medication assistance to 4,920 South Louisville residents (127% increase in rental assistance this year!) and food to more than 10,000 neighbors!
We organized two new work groups; the Louisville Rapid Access Network connects and strategizes front line social workers to create clearer pathways to the much needed resources they require to help our communities. Second, we created the StopMyEviction.org website to make sure anyone facing eviction during COVID will be able to speak directly to a human as they seek resources and support to keep them in their homes. Through our anti-eviction work, we have secured and distributed more than $250,000 dollars to our most vulnerable neighbors!
Unfortunately, due to the current global pandemic we won't be able to come together to celebrate these wins in person. However, we will still host our Families Helping Families celebration virtually on November 24th. This is where we need your help. We are trying to raise $35,000 from now until we come together on the 24th to help us continue this work. Will you chip in to help reach this goal?
The end of the pandemic is not in sight, but we will persevere. We will not stop helping. This difficult and tolling chapter continues, but we will find comfort in our care for each other and our courage in kindness. And with that courage let us give what we can. Speak out when there are inevitable injustices toward those who live in fear for not having enough wealth to protect their families. Defend out neighbors by giving what we have and they do not. And together, we’ll make a world of difference right here in South Louisville.
Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.
Executive Director of South Louisville Community Ministries