“There’s one father who was working two restaurant jobs and raising three kids. Now he has no jobs, no income, and he’s just trying to meet basic needs.”

That’s a typical profile of many clients, says Alan van Capelle, president and CEO of Educational Alliance, a UJA nonprofit partner. Many clients, who live in the Lower East Side, are low-income; often they were tip-based workers barely getting by.

Right now, with thanks to UJA’s support, Educational Alliance is offering emergency cash assistance to clients in overwhelming circumstances. Like families with young children who can’t afford diapers and formulas. Or parents who went to college with the hope of rising out of poverty, and now need help paying for college expenses so they can stay in school.

“At Educational Alliance we’re like the cheerleader everyone needs.” Alan says. “Someone to say, ‘I see you. I understand you.’ Someone to ask, ‘What do you need?’ and not presume to know what’s needed. And then someone to assist in getting what’s needed.”

As part of its more than $45 million in Covid-19 relief to date, UJA allocated cash assistance to our nonprofit partners on the front lines helping people pay for rent, utilities, and food.

The social workers at Educational Alliance and other UJA partners are helping individuals and families throughout New York communities, providing lifesaving support at this critical time.

“Health and human service workers are front line workers,” Alan says, “the way doctors and nurses are.”