Serving Women and Children with Help from United Way

 COVID unleashed a health and economic crisis, like many others, Maria lost her job during the pandemic.

Losing her job would have been devastating if she did not have the support of Hannah’s Hope Ministries. “Without Hannah’s Hope I would be homeless,” Maria, 19, said. “Previously coming to Hannah’s Hope I was in foster care. The agency has helped me tremendously.” Maria and her eight-month-year-old daughter live in Hannah’s Hope’ transitional housing. They share the home with five other women and nine other children. 

Hannah’s Hope recently received a grant from United Way of Berks County’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund to maintain services. “United Way has been phenomenal; they have been a blessing, “said Joy Kessock, program director of Hannah’s Hope. “Without organizations like United Way, I don’t believe we would continue serving the community. Because of their help and their generosity and the people who contribute to the United Way, we are able to continue serving mothers and their children in the county,” Kessock said.

Agency staff are helping with childcare for the working mothers in the program; all hands are on deck, since children are not in school, according to Kessock. 

Maria feels lucky have a safe place to live and people who support and care about her. “I just feel like this is a good place; they open their arms and they give you love,” Maria said. “If I wasn’t here, I would be in a whole other situation. I would be struggling. I’d probably be on the street.”