Timmer first met Anne in 2018, just before Christmas, when Anne was living in a car behind a church. Never having seen a homeless mother before, the experience changed Timmer’s life. She became Anne’s support system, finding a hotel for the family to spend Christmas and then connecting Anne to a family homeless shelter. She cheered Anne on as she sought and received certification to become an assisted living administrator and started school to become a licensed practical nurse.
COVID-19 caused Anne to lose her income, which put her in danger of not making rent and left her unable to pay for essentials for herself and her six children. The family finally had been reunited and living together, after being separated while homeless. Anne again reached out to Timmer, who connected her to the Rapid Response Team.
The team is a new coalition of Palm Health Foundation, BeWellPBC, youth leaders at the EJS Project and the Volunteer Nursing Corps. The coalition reviews stories of residents trying to cope with the medical and economic repercussions of COVID-19 and then takes immediate action to provide financial assistance through the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund, services and referrals. The Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund at Palm Health Foundation was created during the crisis to help Palm Beach County residents with rent, food and medical needs. It is rooted in the belief that “we are all our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.”
The Rapid Response Team gave Anne the hand up she needed, with the EJS Project designating Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund money for rent and a $500 gift card for necessities. Anne is finding ways to earn an income while continuing her studies for her children and to show Dr. Fontaine and her “angels” that the “money you invested in me wasn’t in vain.”
Thanks to the Palm Health Foundation for sharing Dr. Timmer’s and Anne’s story.
Photo: Dr. Fontaine Timmer, director of the University's Volunteer Nursing Corps