In the early hours of a warm summer morning, Eddie wakes to the sounds of panic. There is screaming, then banging on the door. “It’s a fire! It’s a fire!” a voice yells. Eddie jumps out of bed and opens the door. The smell of smoke fills his apartment immediately and he sees people running down the stairs. Fear sets in and he hurries for dear life. Luckily, he escapes the building, along with the rest of his neighbors, but his home is completely destroyed, along with all of his belongings.
With only the clothes on his back and with nowhere to go, Eddie ends up at a local shelter. While the fire lasted a few short hours, the aftermath is long and stressful for Eddie. He is homeless for over two months. It’s a difficult time for him, but he stays optimistic and hopes for the best.
Eddie has been a Paterson resident for years. He is also disabled and living on a fixed income. Being on a tight budget every month, the fire left him struggling financially. Weeks after finally finding an apartment, he was still living out of a suitcase, unable to afford the extra expenses that come in the wake of the fire.
Fortunately, Eddie learns about CUMAC from a friend and decides to visit. He is pleasantly surprised when he arrives, greeted with big smiles and plenty of support. Eddie receives bags full of groceries from our pantry, as well as clothing, hygiene products, household items, and more from our Community Closet.
For Eddie, these resources are a huge relief, giving him the boost he needs to get back on his feet.
Since then, Eddie has been slowly furnishing his new place. “It’s finally starting to feel like home” he tells us. He’s not able to cook at the apartment, since he doesn’t have a stove, so he loves being able to visit CUMAC for bags of food that are ready to eat. Eddie has also been trying to eat healthier because of his Diabetes so he’s particularly excited about the fruits and vegetables in the pantry, which are always a big help with his diet.
“It took the fire for me to get here, but I’m glad I found CUMAC” he says. “It’s been a blessing. This place really helps people in need.”
Eddie can now enjoy his new home, and doesn’t need to worry about when life can return to normalcy. Because of supporters like you, we can provide neighbors like Eddie with vital resources and support every day and at the most critical times. While we can’t always prevent disasters from happening, you can count on our team to do everything in our power to make recovery easier on our clients. Thank you for making it possible.
To support CUMAC's disaster relief program, consider donating new and gently used clothing, household items, and/or small furniture to our Community Closet.