This phrase is one of the hardest things to tell a client. “Sorry, we cannot help you” usually means there are no possibilities under the current law for them to be able to legally work or provide for their family. However, occasionally we are delighted to have to say this to a client. This is when former clients make too much money that they no longer qualify for our services.
Just Neighbors’ mission is to help those clients who are most vulnerable; individuals and families who earn no more than 200% above the poverty level. For a family of four, they cannot make over $48,600 a year. When former clients come back to renew their work permit or apply for their green cards or citizenship, we must screen them for eligibility. We are delighted when clients are so successful that we must refer them to private attorneys!
One former client, Oscar, is now making over $60,000 as a small business owner and family of two. Four years earlier, he was drowning in medical bills after being the victim of a stabbing. Just Neighbors was able to assist him in obtaining a U-visa as a victim of criminal activity. Surveys of our former clients show that after getting assistance from Just Neighbors, 74% of them go on to be employed. 94% of Dreamers are now working, going to school or both. Former clients often stop by the office to share their thanks or drop off some food delicacies from their home countries. Last week, Lily, a former VAWA client whom we helped six years ago, drove from Maryland to tell us in person that she was now getting her citizenship. “I always remember you all and I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you so much. I am so appreciative of what you have done for me.”
Thank you for helping clients like Oscar and Lily to become thriving members of our community!