50 Family Challenge

We have seen our community struggling more than ever in the past two years, and we have borne witness to immense need. As inflation continues to impact the cost of rent, thousands of families are on the brink of eviction. We need your help now, more than ever, to keep families in their homes.  Funds raised from the 50 Family Challenge allow us to help people who do not qualify for public assistance, even though they are  still struggling with the consequences of COVID. These are challenging times, and our mission work to help neighbors thrive grows more important each day. Our annual 50 Family Challenge is a critical safety net. You can ensure families—neighbors we pass in the grocery store, wave to as we enjoy the outdoors, with whom we worship—have a roof overhead.

Your support matters, now more than ever. Will you join us to give families a path back to wholeness?

I was out of work for 10 months because of COVID, and worried that my kids and me were going to lose our home. Thanks to the help Arm In Arm was able to provide, we are still in the home we love.  I’m back to work, my kids are back to school, and we are safe and stable. God bless Arm In Arm.”

                                                                                                  -Virginia, Arm In Arm Client

“They literally saved my life … 

                   When Arm In Arm helped me it gave me hope again.”

                                                         Winnie, Arm In Arm Housing Client


Donna was working steadily when she became pregnant, but unfortunately her pregnancy was not easy and because of this, she missed a great deal of work. She began to fall behind on her bills. Her car was repossessed and her rent went unpaid as she struggled to take care of herself and her children. Fortunately, she was able to deliver a healthy baby, and shortly thereafter, returned to work full-time. When she came to Arm In Arm she was doing well and demonstrated stable, consistent income from her full-time job as a security guard, however she was already several months behind on her rent. Our team reviewed her finances with her to see what was realistic and sustainable. Because there is very little affordable housing available, our team knew that Donna would be hard-pressed to find another apartment rental in her price-range, and thought it was important to preserve the low-rent she was paying by working to keep her in her current apartment. Donna was able to pay a portion of her back rent, and Arm In Arm helped to pay the balance so that she and her children were able to stay in their home.

Rita's Story

As a home health care worker, Rita believed working through the pandemic was the right thing to do. From March of 2020 to September of 2021, Rita worked on the front lines, ensuring her patients were cared for during these unprecedented times. Rita was there during a time when many others didn't show up for work, taking longer shifts and working overtime on a regular basis. However, eventually Rita felt the overwhelming pressures of her work and burnout was threatening her own health. She took a leave of absence to care for herself and for her family, and though she returned to work fairly quickly, unfortunately during this time she fell behind on her rent. Like many clients we serve, Rita did not qualify for any other forms of assistance. Despite all the work she had done for others the past year and a half, Rita found herself struggling to keep her family stably housed Rita tried to bounce back financially after returning to work. However, that gap of income put a strain on her being able to afford her bills, especially while being a single mother with childcare cost. By May, Rita was 4 months behind on rent and owed $5,600. With little support and the impending possibility of being evicted, Rita took a chance and came to Arm In Arm for help. Because of the continual support of our organization, Arm In Arm was able to pay of Rita’s owed rent, helping her finally get back on track. With our support of Rita, she’s now living stably at home and at work, able to move forward and continue taking care of others.

Deborah and Henry's Story

For Deborah and Henry, an elderly couple living in Trenton, things were tight. Their survival depended on Social Security, Unemployment, and Disability. Henry was working, but after catching Covid and struggling continually with long-term symptoms, he suffered a stroke and was unable to work again. The couple was able to receive some assistance in paying their rent, but only through the rest of 2021. With few options for financial stability, Henry made the difficult decision to apply for early retirement social security in January. However, the application process would take months, leaving this family four months behind on rent as well as owing a security deposit. An eviction notice was issued, and a warrant of removal was placed on them. Henry and Deborah were living with the fear that they could be locked out of their home at any moment. Luckily, Arm In Arm was there to help when Henry and Deborah needed them the most. We were able to provide them with $5000 in rental assistance, ensuring they were able to stay in their home. Starting this month, Henry’s social security will be coming in, giving them sufficient income to get by. Henry and Deborah are able to continue living in the place they’ve called home for years.

Winnie's Story

As a home healthcare worker, Winnie’s employment was often sporadic. Essentially a gig worker, her assignments would come and go, sometimes with weeks or even months passing between jobs, but she was able to piece together a schedule that allowed her to get by. Sometimes working 24 hours per day for several days in a row, Winnie worked hard to stay afloat, but it was tough. “This grind takes a real toll on your physical and mental health” she says, “things were tenuous even before the pandemic hit, but then the work really slowed down and I began to slip into despair.” The work dried up. During the pandemic, clients were hesitant to bring help into their homes, and the bills were piling up. Rent was due on the apartment where she had lived for two years. The phone bill had to be paid first because, without it, she would be unable to find work. The WiFi bill was left unpaid, interrupting her progress toward renewing her license via online classes. She couldn’t afford to rent or buy a car, so she was taking Uber to and from work which siphoned more of her savings. Public transportation was not an option because clients would not accept the increased risk during COVID. Her cupboards were bare more often than not, and Winnie was becoming desperate. One day, a friend called to let her know that the Arm In Arm Mobile Pantry was parked outside of her apartment building, distributing bags of food to her neighbors. Winnie visited the Mobile Pantry to receive groceries and, while there, inquired about rental assistance. With three days’ worth of healthy food, Winnie went home and gave us a call. Our Homelessness Prevention team was able to provide $6,000 to cover back rent and, with groceries supplied by our Hunger Prevention program, Winnie was positioned to tackle the many other barriers to her stability and security. Says Winnie, “Arm In Arm provided me with food when I needed nourishment and, with rental assistance, I was able to get back on my feet again after several months with no income. They literally saved my life … When Arm In Arm helped me it gave me hope again … Arm In Arm helped get me out of a black hole. When I think about it I begin to tear up because I know the universe loves me. When the assistance came through, I had my sense of hope restored.”

Janine's Story

Janine is the proud owner of the small business she created, her bustling hair salon. Her hair salon did so well pre-pandemic that she consistently and faithfully made mortgage payments for 21 years on her home. Then, as COVID-19 began to impact our community, Janine's clients were affected, which in turn meant Janine was heavily impacted. Her salon became shuttered for the foreseeable future and the bills began to pile up. Like so many small business owners, Janine’s economic security has suffered, and the devastating loss of months of income have a far-reaching impact. This was the reality for many of our neighbors for the last year and a half. Faced with the real possibility of losing both her business and her home, Janine picked up the phone and called Arm In Arm. Our Housing Stability team works with many neighbors like Janine, clients who have worked hard to establish security in their lives, only to find themselves in dire straits due to circumstances beyond their control. We worked with Janine to get back on track, providing 4 months of mortgage assistance to keep her in her home. Now, as things open up and we see some economic improvement and real hope for the future, Janine’s salon is up and running again and she remains stably housed in the home she loves. Janine is just one of the more than 300 individuals and families that the Arm In Arm Housing Stability team has been able to assist this past year, but there are many more that need our help today.

Alfrieda's Story

Just 2 weeks after moving in their new family home, Alfrieda and her family faced the unthinkable. Trenton Public Schools were closing due to coronavirus concerns. As a contract worker for students with disabilities, Alfrieda's paycheck suddenly disappeared and left her family with no way to make ends meet. Click the image to read how Alfreida's story became a reminder that help is only a phone call away.