Naomi Watson had just been released from the hospital and was recovering from surgery when she received a $900 property tax bill. She still remembers her response – “Oh grace, I’ve got this medication to get. What am I going to do?” Naomi’s husband, Joseph Watson, had passed away three years earlier, and she has no children to help her pay the taxes on her Chapel Hill home. She decided to find out if the IFC could do anything to help her. Kristin Lavergne, IFC community services director, communicated with the tax office. “But it was too late to apply for a payment plan for the $900 with the county tax office,” Lavergne said. “So IFC coordinated with several congregations and… got it paid.”
Much has changed for Naomi since that first visit to the IFC. The antibiotics prescribed by doctors after the surgery had a permanent side effect on the muscles in her legs. Now, she can only get around with a walker or in a wheelchair. She had to cut back her involvement with her church, though she still serves on the district committee and is president of the Pastor’s Aid Club.
Without a paycheck, Naomi has to depend on Social Security and the small amount of money she gets from the four boarders who rent rooms in her house. Naomi said she turns to the IFC for food from the pantry every few months. “They have helped me on holidays – you get a nice basket at Thanksgiving and a nice basket at Christmas,” she said.