Tragically impacted by COVID-19, Jon’s* lost his wife to COVID in June shortly after giving birth to their baby.This loss left him to care for their infant and his wife’s 11-year-old son from a previous relationship, while working 9 hours a day, 6 days a week. A babysitter cares for the infant and the older son is cared for by a co-tenant in their home. Jon and family were referred to our immigration legal program in Virginia by an immigration attorney familiar with Ayuda. They received a legal consultation in August.

When our legal program heard his story, they referred him to our social services program. An Ayuda case manager quickly determined his needs and stepped in to help. Both father and son needed grief counseling as well as basics, such as food, diapers, and formula. Our family law program stepped in to start the custody process for our client’s non-biological son.

The other challenge Jon* faces is learning to take on the role of dual parent which is not commonly seen in his culture. He has a lot to learn about being both parents as a single dad. He’s doing really well and the extra support that we’ve been able to provide has him been a source of relief.

One way to help him learn his new role as a single dad will be connecting him to the Healthy Families program at the organization Northern Virginia Family Services. They do home visits for families with babies and teach the parents important parenting skills like how to be responsible about shots, how to identify the needs of the baby faster, and work to connect them to programs like Head Start.

Despite this tragic story, it is an incredible example of the success of our wrap-around services at Ayuda and the power of referrals in our immigration non-profit network. Today, Jon and his family are on the path to recovery.

*Client name has been changed for privacy.