United Way of Monroe County: $95,000 Short of Goal

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STROUDSBURG -- An organization that helps people in need is in need itself. The United Way of Monroe County is facing one of its biggest shortfalls in history. If the people at United Way don't reach their goal, some services they provide may suffer. The organization is $95,000 short of reaching its $1 million goal.

Eliza Irizarry of Stroudsburg is a single mother of two young children. She lives in an apartment home in Stroudsburg where nine other mothers and their children are all staying.

Irizarry didn't want to show her face on camera but agreed to talk to Newswatch 16 about her situation

"I lost my job due to the recession and things like that," she said.

That was about one year ago. Since then she's been benefiting from United Way agencies.

"She was at Family Promise first, which is an emergency shelter for homeless families. She still needed some more time, so she came to our program, which is transitional housing," said Sharon Taylor, executive director of PATH.

The program Irizarry is part of now is called PATH, which stands for Pocono Area Transitional Housing where homeless parents and their children stay and learn how to make it on their own.

PATH is one of several agencies that receive financial assistance from the United Way of Monroe County which is $95,000 short of reaching its $1 million goal.

"If we have to go out and do lots of fundraising, that takes away from the time and energy we need to give to them to help create success stories," said Taylor.

The money from the United Way fund not only goes to providing a roof over the families' heads, it also goes to paying some bills, like the electricity and water bill and to counseling services, where the women learn how to properly create a budget.

"Every family here needs to buy their own food, cook their own meals with the means they have available to them. We get to see what resources are lacking for that family so they can be connected," Taylor added.

 For Irizarry the budget-planning help is allowing her to one day realize her dream of having her own place can be a reality

"She is really going to be able to be successful and be on her feet and have a stable life because she had the strong support when she had absolutely nothing," said Taylor.

The deadline to raise the $95,000 is December 31.

If you're looking to help out the United Way of Monroe County, click here.