Meet the Executive Director

Dear Eblen Friends,

2022 shone a light on the struggles that many of our neighbors are going through. In December, we had 9,919 phone calls to our office from people asking for help – alongside of the in-person and email applications! Whether needing help with an overdue power bill, or gasoline or medication, people are making difficult decisions about how to spend their limited funds.  

As we look at our work in 2022, we have a few numbers to share. In total, we helped 3,016 families in our community this year. Please click this link to look at more details about our programs and services.

These numbers only tell part of the story. They don’t describe the relief we hear from clients on the phone or the relieved tears we see in person. We are happy to be part of the solution to our neighbor’s problems, and we are grateful for the many partnerships and kind people who make this work possible.

A review of applications year over year shows that the first quarter of the 2022-23 fiscal year, when compared to the same time period the year before saw an increase from 29 applications to 100. At the same time, the costs to serve those families has increased by more than $200 per family. This is concerning.

Last year reminded me to be grateful for the things that I take for granted, from sending my children to school with school supplies, to having gas to get to a doctor’s appointment. Many of our neighbors simply can’t afford to do that.

We hope that you will join us in serving our community, whether by volunteering in our office or at an event, making a monthly gift or sponsoring an event. Together, we can create a community where everyone is housed, warm and safe – and provide the little extras like a new backpack or a Thanksgiving meal.

If you have thoughts and hopes about our work, please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call me at 828.255.3066.

Beth Russo

Executive Director