Neediest Cases helps Dayton, Tennessee, man make ends meet after layoff

Staff photo by Emily Crisman / James Boles stands outside the lumber yard where he works in Dayton. Boles requested assistance from the Neediest Cases Fund to help pay his rent after being laid off from his previous job as an electrical contractor.

After being laid off amid the pandemic, James Boles quickly found a new job. But his hours at his old job had been reduced before he was eventually laid off, and he had already fallen behind on his bills.

Boles wouldn't get his first paycheck at his new job for a few weeks. He knew he needed help but didn't know who to ask.

"I had never applied for any kind of assistance, so I didn't know how it worked," Boles said.

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He'd heard that the First United Methodist Church provides assistance with food to people in need, so he thought it would be a good place to start. They connected him with the United Way of Rhea County, which is among the agencies that administer grants from the Neediest Cases Fund.