To the Editor:

Here is an update on Pike County Hands of Hope since our very successful July 22 auction at St. John Neumann's Parrish Hall in Lords Valley.

We are helping families with partial rent payments to avoid eviction. We just aided a woman who took over the care of her deceased sister's children. She needed help with the rent, food, and diapers for the four children, all under age 4.

Helping families to move to a lower rental: We helped a woman move from a no electric, no running water, flooded basement house to a low-rental apartment that she could afford.

Helping families clean out their foreclosed homes so that they can get reimbursed by the bank: The bank requires the foreclosed property be presentable and "broom swept." We helped them get set up in a new location.

Working with landlords: Hands of Hope pays a third rent, client pays a third rent ,and the landlord get a third in a tax deduction. We just helped a woman who needed assistance with half her rent until her disability check arrived in the mail.

We work with banks to lower their interest rates so that families can stay in their homes. We try and find solutions before the person becomes homeless.

We work with individuals to obtain social services that are available to them.

We are helping to place homeless veterans into long term apartments. Starting immediately, we are joining with local congregations and businesses in "Midnight Outreach." Details of this operation will be sent under separate cover. This project is to help the homeless with their most basic human needs.

Each person, family is different from the last. Their needs are varied and complex. So, you see, Pike County Hands of Hope has been very busy working within our community. We are here for all in need. We are taking phone calls and helping people of all ages. We are here to prevent foreclosure and eviction. We are here for our neighbors and their children.

Robb Ruiz, president

Pike County Hands of Hope