Tracey Paliath has served as the Director of Economic Services for Jewish Community Services for the past several years. She started her position just after the economic downturn struck the country – including Jewish Baltimore. Each day, she says, she works with clients who have to face difficult decisions, clients who are hanging on by a thread.
On a warm Monday in August, Tracey shared this letter:
I cannot express my sincere gratitude for JCS services and programs. I had been out of work for at least six months and had come to JCS at the recommendation of a friend of mine. The career coach immediately provided me with great counseling and constructive suggestions. The staff did a great job pulling together all of my achievements and skills into a dynamic document. I also attended a workshop on interviewing skills last week. As a seasoned professional with almost 20 years tenure in my profession, I was unsure how much I would gain from this workshop. But I must say that the program was excellent in all respects. Today, I went to my first interview in months for an ideal position in my field. Employing all my new skills and techniques, I left the interview confident in my performance and received a verbal job offer within minutes after leaving the office. Thank you again for providing this program to the community. I know that I am one grateful beneficiary.
The letter makes it sounds like the process was easy, explains Tracey, as the letters they receive often do. However, Tracey says there are many parts to Mrs. B’s story that the reader doesn’t get from her text.
“Mrs. B is divorced, raising two children as a single mom. One of her children has special needs. When she lost her job she could no longer afford to purchase his medication. She had to make the painful decision to put food on the table instead,” says Tracey. “Her children were both suffering from severe stress. They needed emotional counseling – and so did Mrs. B. They needed someone to help them refocus.”
JCS counselors intervened on all accounts. Emergency cash assistance helped fulfill the family’s immediate needs. A psychologist was able to add calm to her sons’ lives and the career counseling got Mrs. B back up to speed and able to secure the job she wanted and needed.
“Today, Mrs. B. is considering purchasing her first home. She volunteers in the community. Her children are doing well in school,” says Tracey. “JCS is our community safety net, made possible by THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. Working at JCS, I know it’s not semantics. The stories are real and our assistance is essential.”