A View From Our Student Intern

A family was referred to the agency by their caseworker.  The “Acosta” family recently came to the US from Puerto Rico.  Mr. Acosta’s wife has two children from another marriage.  The father of these two children passed away tragically in Puerto Rico 3 years ago.  Mr. Acosta accepted custody of these two children and married their mother.  They now have two other children together.  Mr. Acosta has had a difficult time finding employment since coming to the US neither he or his wife speaks very good English.  Their children speak better English than them.  This has been a large obstacle for them in finding suitable employment.  His caseworker has been trying to help him locate employment, but it has been difficult.  I met with Mr. Acosta on a Friday afternoon.  We were going to be closed on the following Monday in observance of a holiday.  When Mr. Acosta came into the office, he owed over $215 on his LGE account.  Normally I would have sent him to seek church pledges in order to pay the remaining balance, but he was due to be shut off on Monday and we were going to be closed.  I left the family alone for a minute while I went upstairs to speak with our Deputy Director.  I asked if there was anything we could possible due given the circumstances.  The agency had recently received some pledges for another client, but we could not use them.  We ended up using theses pledges toward Mr. Acosta’s account and they were the exact amount in which he needed.  I explained to him that this is not standard procedure for us.  He was extremely grateful for our help, and came to tears while I was finalizing the pledge to keep his LGE connected.