Tough Times

In case you missed the news, times are tough.  Ed posts a press release from Greensboro Urban Ministries. In part it says:

Over the past several months, Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Emergency Assistance Program has seen a dramatic rise in the demand for emergency financial assistance, particularly since the beginning of July when Guilford County Department of Social Services outsourced its county financial assistance program.  All of Greensboro Urban Ministry funding for emergency financial assistance comes from private sources such as local congregations, Duke Energy Foundation, Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation, other foundations, and concerned individuals.  No city, county, state, or federal funds are used.

In April, our Emergency Assistance Program provided $33,447 for 112 families needing help with rent, mortgage, or utility assistance; in May, $40,996 for 153 families; in June, $47,580 for 199 families.  So far this month through July 18, $19,745 for 86 families has been spent. 

Every morning this month long lines of people have lined up for services with food, clothing, and financial assistance.  Emergency assistance funding aims to help families over a short term crisis, but unfortunately, many of the people coming to us are in long term crisis with no income.  For these people, the solution is to find a living wage job.  Such jobs are in very short supply. 

If you polled all of the local food banks, shelters, job assistance agencies, etc. you'd hear a variation on GUM's story.  Over the last couple of weeks I've talked with the folks from Second Harvest during PTAA's Fill the Stands With Cans events and they've repeatedly said that they're incredibly busy these days and the demand for their services keeps increasing. 

Yes the economy seems to be improving slowly, but here in the Piedmont Triad jobs just aren't coming back at the rate they need to and the social safety nets are getting frayed. It really is very simple – until we get jobs we're going to keep hearing stories like these.

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