Late in 2010, for the first time in our community’s history, we had a significant number of Jews who were hungry, homeless, and in need of crisis health and mental health services. The Foundation’s Hineni Fund was established on behalf of Jews in our community who were in desperate need of basic human services. We partnered with Jewish Family Services, the Jewish Community Center, area congregations, the Community Chaplain and OSU Hillel to ensure that safety net services were in place to meet growing community needs.
Even before the economic crises, our Jewish Needs Committee understood that community members often did not seek help when they faced needs such as hunger, loss of housing, unemployment, illness, financial crises, and the like. Some sought assistance outside of the Jewish community because of the perceived stigma in seeking help or because they did not know where to turn. Having food on the table, prescription medicines filled and gas in the car to get to work should be a given for our Jewish community members.
The Foundation’s SCRIP Program was conceived to help individuals with one-time emergency financial needs, and to provide referrals to organizations that could assist them. Our SCRIP program provides emergency funds (through a gift card at Kroger) to purchase food, groceries, gas and medicine. Providing this assistance might enable community members to free up other dollars to address emergency needs (home repairs, increased bills, etc.) or to assist them if they are in a “time gap” before services are received (such as waiting for food stamps).
Since the program was established in 2005, over $115,000 has been distributed, helping more than 1,000 individuals. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from the SCRIP Program, please contact Jewish Family Services at 614.231.1890, your congregational rabbi, the JCC, the Community Chaplain or OSU Hillel.