In the heart of the Peterson Park neighborhood, the appearance of “JL’s” house reflects considerable dilapidation and neglect. The front and sides of the house show severely peeling paint, starkly overgrown shrubbery, and sinking concrete steps. At the back of the house, a fallen awning lies heavily strewn on a rickety deck. The partially-missing side and back fences are leaning heavily and on the brink of collapse. And the back yard itself is overrun with a teeming, forest-like proliferation of unwanted weed trees, stumps, uncontrolled shrubbery and wild growth.
The owner and sole occupant of the home, “JL” is a friendly senior who manages to subsist on a very limited income. Years ago, JL retired early from work and wholly devoted herself for many years to care of her sick and elderly parents, both of whom were holocaust survivors with few family or friends. (As a child refugee from the holocaust herself, JL is still sometimes haunted by horrific memories of that period of her life.)
In recent years, JL’s own health challenges resulted in several serious operations, with many months spent in hospitals and rehab facilities. Post-surgery and rehab, JL found much difficulty in re-adjusting to her home routine while still trying to recover her full mobility and strength. Physically unable to leave the house, JL’s ability to obtain food was severely limited, while her home grew dirtier and increasingly beset with piles of garbage bags and other trash.
Feeling utterly alone and unable to cope, JL’s motivation to live and recover her health began to wane and seep away. In desperation one day, she decided to reach out and call the CMC for help. In JL’s own words, this move ended up saving her life.
Upon meeting JL in her home, the CMC immediately made arrangements for deliveries of JL’s grocery list from her preferred vendors. They ensured that the inside of JL’s home was soon cleared from the noxious piled-up masses of garbage bags and waste. And not long after, JL began receiving regular city-sponsored home-cleaning services. These developments revitalized JL, restoring her motivation, joy, and will to live.
Soon afterwards however, another devastating blow struck: The city’s department of buildings sent JL a notice of multiple code violations, threatening her with fines of up to one thousand dollars per violation, per day, unless the necessary permits were obtained and the violations fixed.
The notice shook JL her to the core, but the CMC’s compassion and alacrity saved her from falling into depression. Immediately, the CMC analyzed the violations and called upon multiple companies to assist with low-cost alternatives to resolve them. Consequently, in just a few short days, JL’s back yard “forest” was cleared, the collapsing fences and fallen awning were removed, and the deck was stabilized. For the alleged roofing violations, the CMC obtained expert testimony disputing the validity of the infringement. And to fix the concrete steps, the CMC procured a bid for the best low-cost resolution.
Once again, the CMC had rescued JL, and had provided the financial assistance and crucial emotional support that the poor and lonely senior so desperately needed at a time of overwhelming fear. Now, JL’s worry has been replaced by gratitude, and her panic has been exchanged for renewed joy. “I can’t ever thank the CMC enough,” JL smiles. “The CMC literally saved my life and gave me new reason to live. The CMC is a true blessing from G-d for which I will forever be grateful.”