Jacqui, a mother from Little Ferry, NJ is just one of the many who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Jackie’s life is full of responsibilities-she is receiving treatment for cancer, and is also caring for her three children during her separation from her husband. In addition, Jacqui’s 13 year-old son Brandon had received a heart transplant in 2010 and is continuing his treatment at Mount Sinai Hospital.
After the storm, Jackie’s home was completely flooded and unlivable. Her car was also destroyed, leaving her and her family unable to move to a safer area. Jackie and her children moved to a nearby shelter and received food from a local church and the Red Cross. Both Jacqui and Brandon’s health was deteriorating due to the unhealthy environment. Their immune systems could not handle the crowded shelter and vacillating weather. Desperate, the family moved from one friend’s house to another while both Jackie and Brandon shuttled back and forth to Mount Sinai.
During this time, Jacqui was not able to work. Her responsibilities as a mother, the flooding of her home, and her cancer treatment left her unable to pay her mortgage. This led Jacqui, a mother who takes pride in her accomplishments, to reach out for help – a step she admits is out of character for her. During a visit to the hospital, she spoke to her son’s cardiac social worker about her situation. The social worker immediately reached out to Harboring Hearts and allowed us to connect with Jacqui, Brandon, and the rest of her family. After listening to her story and learning of the many hardships she had to go through, the team at Harboring Hearts knew they had to help. Harboring Hearts provided a housing grant allowing Jackie and her family to keep their home and lessen their financial burden.