Roxbury Office
Contact: Kevan Barton, Program Director

c/o BCYF Vine Street Community Center
339 Dudley Street
Boston, MA, 02119
Phone: (617) 427-1155
Fax: (617) 427-1125
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Cambridge-Somerville Office
Contact: Jessica Cirone, Program Manager
c/o The Parenting Journey
366 Somerville Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143
Phone: (617) 591-9400 
Fax: (617) 591-9411
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George Uwanawich

Location: Boston
Affiliation: LIFT-Cambridge

This past year, George Uwanawich became a victim of the foreclosure crisis that has swept through communities across the country. George was living as a tenant in a multi-unit house when he was received the news that what had seemed like a stable home was in the midst of foreclosure. He had gotten to know the volunteers at LIFT-Cambridge as a tax preparation client, so he immediately turned to them for help.

Volunteers set to work with George to secure alternative future housing and to access disability benefits for which he qualified.  Volunteers also consulted with a housing advocate in the Cambridge Multi-Service Center who suggested that George apply for immediate emergency housing.

From there, George and various volunteers worked to reopen his case for long-term disability benefits and apply for emergency housing. George’s initial housing application was rejected by the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA). Confident they could appeal the decision based on his case, volunteers worked with George to compile his housing history, worked with his landlord to provide a reference and evidence of the foreclosure, and reached out to housing advocates for advice.  After months of preparation, George presented his case to the appeal committee at the CHA, who overturned the original decision and granted him emergency housing. In that same month, George was also approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), providing him with an additional $1,000 in monthly income and over $10,000 in back benefits.

George is now settled in a new apartment and is thankful to LIFT. "[LIFT] opened up a great deal of opportunities for me through their knowledge of community resources and they helped me make connections that were necessary for me to begin having hope again."