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How did JEN come about?JEN was founded in February 2008 by the Jewish Federation of Howard County (JFHC), which supports the program through its Jewish Community Social Worker, who vets all requests for assistance. JEN is the only entity in Howard County that specifically helps members of the Jewish community who are facing financial crisis through payments on their behalf.
Howard County is one of the most affluent counties in the nation. Are there really members of our community in need? If so, what kinds of needs are we talking about?"According to the 2019 Howard County Jewish Community Study, almost 10% of our local Jewish Community is "just getting along" or "nearly poor" while almost 20% of our population do not have enough funds to cover three months of expenses if they were to face an unexpected loss of income. JEN assistance is most often used to pay overdue rent and avoid eviction, prevent utility cutoffs, pay medical and dental costs, fund needed car repairs, and purchase food.
How does the JEN Committee ensure that funds are used by recipients to meet the emergency needs indicated?JFHC sends payments directly to third-party vendors that provide the goods and services required to meet the emergency needs (e.g., landlords, BGE, pharmacies, insurance carriers, etc.).
Does JFHC provide funding to JEN so that it can do its work?JFHC absorbs the cost of administrative support to JEN and employs the Jewish Community Social Worker who vets all requests for assistance. A group of volunteers comprising the JEN Committee administer the program so that all contributions made to JEN are used to directly meet emergency needs and not used to pay for overhead costs.
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