November 2018
Katherine Montes
A Labor of Love

Katherine Montes works hard as a property manager at an apartment building in Hartford. Juggling the demands of solely caring for her four children while also tending to dozens of tenants, she takes pride in being the best mother and employee she can be.

But sometimes it isn’t easy.

Just when the future was looking bright and Montes and her husband were on the path to homeownership, things took a turn.

“My husband got sick, eventually to the point of being disabled,” she explained.

What followed was a difficult journey to make ends meet on a much lower household income.

“After he passed, my children received benefits, but in the last few years they turned 18,” she shared. “So, I thought, we can still do this. We can re-budget and we’ll just have to reign in a bit. But then when my third child turned 18, our income dropped again. It was at the point where because of inflation and my income not changing because it is a fixed income, it started to get really tight.”

Montes knew she needed a little help, but like 40% of all households in Greater Hartford, despite having a hard time ensuring that food would be on the table, her income disqualified her from federal nutrition assistance programs.

“I didn’t qualify for SNAP because of a dollar,” said Montes. “So, I knew I needed to try to find ways besides re-budgeting to save, so I could pay the light bill and put gas in the car to take my child to school; when your income shifts, it affects the way you feel. If you’re feeling like your household is coming apart, you’re going to hit depression; you can either find what works for you so you can keep walking or let it overwhelm you. There are resources.”

That’s when she stepped out and opened the door to Love Kitchen Ministry, a hunger-relief program run by her church, Glory Chapel International Cathedral .

Having previously volunteered at Love Kitchen, she knew that the ministry could help with providing hot meals and staples like fresh vegetables, milk and other food that she normally would need to purchase each week.

“I did not want my family to be without because of pride. That’s a senseless reason to have anyone go hungry,” she explained. “I wasn’t going to lie to get SNAP, because that’s not me. There was a little bit of embarrassment but I also was aware that the service is there just for what I’m going through and I’d be a fool not to utilize a service that can actually help me. Everyone has their moments. You just... 
"If you’re feeling like your household is coming apart, you’re going to hit depression; you can either find what works for you so you can keep walking or let it overwhelm you. There are resources."
—Katherine Montes
Montes (top row, left), Santiago (front row, fifth from left) and Davila (top row, second from right) with the others from the volunteer crew at Love Kitchen Ministry.
We're Hiring a Full-Time
Senior Accountant!

This role is responsible for overseeing all accounting and related administrative functions of Urban Alliance . Major responsibilities include:

  • Invoice vouchering and check preparation
  • Payroll management
  • Data entry into QuickBooks accounting software
  • Preparation of monthly financial statements
  • Preparation of annual financial budget, including ongoing monitoring against actual results
  • Financial analysis and reporting
  • Oversight of various administrative functions such as insurance, employee benefits, etc.
  • Database management

Click the button for full details or to apply.
Your Small Action Can Make a Huge Impact

Giving Tuesday is on November 27. Why is this date so important?

Because when you donate to UA's Facebook fundraiser on November 27, Facebook and PayPal will match your gift. And, if you create your own fundraiser for Urban Alliance, Facebook and PayPal will match what you raise.

Simply visit our Facebook page on Giving Tuesday to take a small action that can have a huge impact on our community!

If you'd like to be reminded to head to our FB page on #UAGivingTuesday, click the button below.
Thrive: Building Core Capabilities for Life

Did you know? Adults play a crucial role in helping young children build core capacities that will help them throughout life.

Join Urban Alliance at the next Thrive quarterly meeting on December 6, where you will have the opportunity to learn more about ways caregivers can help children develop executive functioning skills such as planning, focus and self-control.

Thrive quarterly meetings foster learning communities where staff and volunteers from early childhood programs run by churches and parachurch organizations in the UA network collectively celebrate their successes and share innovative strategies to increase the impact of their programs so they may better equip caregivers and pregnant mothers.

For more information about Thrive, click below or contact Rosaicela Rodriguez , Urban Alliance's Director of Implementation, Children & Youth Initiatives .
Charis: Supporting Marriage Relationships

How do you nurture marriage relationships at your church or organization?

As they tackled this question in a recent Charis quarterly meeting on October 25, representatives from 22 local churches and parachurch organizations were provided with tools and resources from Urban Alliance to help the people they serve strengthen their marriage relationships, prevent future challenges, facilitate healing and reconciliation, and safely address abusive relationships.

As part of the collective discussion, Pastor Frank Termine shared how Calvary Church of West Hartford supports healthy marriage relationships across all ages and life stages, and Randy Tapp shared about Victory Church 's Soul Care Ministry, which provides counseling, support groups and domestic violence prevention training.

For more information about Charis , click below or contact Angela Colantonio , Urban Alliance's Director of Implementation, Health & Basic Needs Initiatives .