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Client Spotlight: Johanna from Mass211

Name: Johanna
 
Town of Residence: Jamaica Plain
 
Can you tell us about your family? (e.g. number of people, ages, are there older adults, are you a single parent, etc.): I’m married with one child.
 
Which direct service do you benefit from? Mass211 
 
Can you tell me how long you have been coming to or using this service? Just last year.
 
Can you tell me why you come to or use this service? Mass211 has been most helpful to my family during the pandemic. We have experienced lost wages, job furloughs, lost benefits, loss in child care, troubles with paying rent, accessing food as well as issues with filing our unemployment claims. At first I was apprehensive to call. I didn't know what to say or even what I needed. I did have to wait a while to get through but once I did, I was so surprised how quickly I felt at ease speaking to the call taker who answered. She had to ask me a lot of questions. She explained it was so she could assess what I was potentially eligible for. She then emailed me the contact info for several local agencies that she thought might help. She asked me to call back if I had any more questions. I ended up calling back. I didn't get the same person but this person was also friendly and interested in what I was going through. I did have to wait again to get through but it was worth the wait as I got even more info this time.
 
How did you find out about this service? A friend who needed help with child care suggested it to me.
 
What kind of help do you receive by using this service? I got resources for rent payment assistance, utility payment assistance and was put on the wait list for child care.
 
What is the best part of this service? They are easy to talk to do and don't talk down to you just because you are going through something.
 
How has coming to or using this service helped you? I am still waiting for my applications for assistance to be processed, but I do feel better knowing someone was available to help me with the process.
 
What about your life has become better or easier since you started coming to or using this service? My daughter did get a child care voucher.
 
What things are still challenging? Waiting.
 
How would things be different if you didn't come here or use our services? I would never have known what was available for my family.
 
Do you have any other comments you would like to add? Thank you for asking me.
 
*2/17/21