Tough Choices

People living on low incomes are juggling all the time.

According to Second Harvest Food Bank, 62% of low-income clients have to choose between food and housing—sadly, food often gets left off the table.

Hourly workers in jobs without paid sick leave come to SCS for one-time rental assistance when they are ill and don’t get paid. Some of the households we help include multiple families sharing a one-bedroom apartment.

SCS is the safety net in Sunnyvale.

When we give financial aid, our caseworkers always complete a 3-month budget with clients, helping them plan out their spending. Often a family will have to use 80% of their take-home pay for rent, leaving little for everyday expenses. We help with car repairs for homeless couples living in their cars, and partner with Sunnyvale Schools to supply backpacks and shoe gift cards for homeless students from kindergarten to high school.

Helping budgets go farther

Besides emergency financial aid, a family of four can receive $308 worth of nutritious food every month at SCS, helping them stretch their incomes to pay for rent, utilities, medical bills, and other necessities. Our weekly produce bags are filled with 25-30 pounds of a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. Our monthly food bags are brimming with beans, peanut butter, tuna, and other protein items. This Thanksgiving, our families receive extra healthy foods, and in December each family can select a two-week supply of nutritious foods plus holiday gifts.

Last year, we again helped nearly 7,000 individuals with food or financial aid. Our total financial aid increased by 3% to $876,825. Thanks to our community’s support, we continue to help every eligible client. We prevented evictions and utility shut-offs for hundreds of families, paid medical bills for seniors, and provided support through workshops, activities, and referrals. Our lean staff, 900+ amazing volunteers, and YOU make it all work here in Sunnyvale. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Marie Bernard
Executive Director, Sunnyvale Community Services