2020 was a year like no other at the Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP).  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, JUMP operated a Drop-In Center in Burlington providing vouchers for basic needs ranging from groceries, utility assistance, transportation gas support, identification, laundry, prescription co-pay, household goods, personal care items and cleaning supplies serving Chittenden County and beyond.

In March 2020, when the pandemic prevented in-person visits, JUMP quickly changed direction by providing online services and mailed vouchers through the new FLEX Assistance Program. These vouchers assist in not only meeting basic needs, but New families in need have been identified.

The online FLEX assistance support has improved program efficiency as JUMP adapted and created four different lanes for clients to access services: FLEX Online application, FLEX Mail In application, Call JUMP– for FLEX application by mail, and Quarterly Care Call (QCC) where staff and volunteers call QCC registered clients who lack computer skills, elderly, homebound serving as a caring point of contact to also proactively identify where food or other needs may exist.

Despite the impact, JUMP remained a dependable reliable resource providing voucher assistance to families and individuals representing (32) towns. Clients requested 2865 vouchers valued at $78,358Top requested vouchers included food security relief 57% valued at $44,458 and Utility Assistance 14% valued $12,192.

Still, the Utility assistance voucher requires an additional $15 to subsidize which helps JUMP sustain a workable 2021 budget. Helping to subsidize Utility assistance will help keep families in their home and maintain good credit by not having utilities disconnected. Plus, based on the potentially long-range economic effects of the pandemic there is no end in sight to the vulnerable population who will be “living on the edge”.

The Covid-19 Impact – Like many non-profits, the current crisis has forced JUMP to re-imagine how we operate, how we administer service, how we interact. We believe, what has manifest is an opportunity to reconfirm JUMP’s purpose as we effectively “Respond to the need that is out there” and work to ensure the well-being and dignity of our most vulnerable neighbors.

With much appreciation, thank you supporting 28 are area faith communities, local agencies, businesses, individual donors, foundations, and First Congregational Church UCC of Burlington for donated space as well as Board of Directors, Committee members, Volunteers and Staff for your unwavering commitment and dedication to JUMP’s mission.

To learn more about JUMP’s important work please visit our website: www.jumpvt.org  and JUMP Client video courtesy of Charlotte Congregational Church: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUe81ohXi7g

Help respond to the need and hope that is out there. Donate online TODAY: www.jumpvt.org or by mail: JUMP, PO Box 1657, Burlington, VT 05402