Stories of Change

Elayne’s Story

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“Not only am I one of the invisible poor, but I also have an invisible disability. My home I acquired before all of this hit me. So somebody coming to my home would never think that I’m in the position I am.” 

Elayne Masters moved to Hampton Twp and started her writing and editing business in 1999.  

“I absolutely loved what I did. I was doing well. So I came here, I bought this house and within a year or two my industry just nose dived. Pay rates went down. Turnaround time was tighter. It became really hard to manage and I was a single mom at the time. So I was struggling to make ends meet,” said Masters.  

While she struggled to keep her business afloat, Elayne’s mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness and moved in with her. While caring for her mother, the unthinkable happened when Elayne tripped and fell down her basement steps. The fall caused atraumatic brain injury.
“You have that fall, that accident, that stroke, whatever it is and in a flash your life as you knew it is over. It’s financial. I lost my business. I will never be able to work again and I love to work,” said Masters. 

While learning about heating assistance, Elayne was introduced to North Hills Community Outreach’s food pantry. Receiving food from the pantry freed up money for Elayne to pay her other bills. 

“This is set up like a grocery store and they walked me through, I had my own little cart and it was so humanizing. I didn’t feel poor,” said Masters.  

Today, Elayne says since her house was paid off before her fall, it is now one of the only assets she has left.  

She says she doesn’t know what she would do without the Food Bank and the partners who provide her with food assistance.  

“It’s more than just food. It’s health, it’s family, it’s connection. I come from a Greek background and for us, food is love,” said Masters.  


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