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April 22, 2021

After his son who had cerebral palsy passed away, Jorge and his wife struggled to keep their home.


Everyone experiences emergencies from time to time, but crisis can be especially devastating for low-income families—like Jorge’s.

Jorge was born with cerebral palsy. When his son was born with the same neurological disease 20 years ago, Jorge didn’t hesitate to quit his job to stay home and care for him. He says his son was his life. When he passed away last year, Jorge and his wife had to cope with the devastating loss of their only son, as well as the loss of the caretaker income that had helped them get by for so many years. They fell behind two months of rent and worried about losing their home.

Fortunately, Jorge found the Emergency Assistance Network (EAN) agency, a United Way partnership with seven Santa Clara partner agencies. The EAN helped the family pay their past due rent, get their finances in order, and get back on their feet.

Now that he no longer needed to stay home, Jorge wanted to return to work but worried nobody would hire an “old man” who hadn’t worked in nearly two decades. With EAN’s support and encouragement, Jorge found confidence—and work.

The family is slowly putting their life back together, and say they “couldn’t have done it” without EAN.

The Emergency Assistance Network (EAN) is a collaborative initiative that helps families and individuals recover from emergency situations by providing food assistance, rent and mortgage aid, utility assistance, and medical and transportation aid—often providing case management and financial education.