It is a problem much bigger than many of us realize.
Most take it for granted that they have a roof over their heads, lights and air conditioning to keep them comfortable and the resources to stock the fridge.
But, for many in our community, this is not the case.
“People are just in a struggle right now,” said Jennie Gordy, office manager for the Emergency Aid Council. “Some people don’t realize there is such a need.”
Gordy represents one of a handful of local agencies that offer assistance to those struggling to pay their rent and utilities, The council joins the Salvation Army and the Central Kansas Dream Center if offering such services.
The local economy, while not as impacted by the recession as more metropolitan areas, is still on the mend. Now, we have a slump in the oil patch causing laborers’ hours to be cut or their jobs to be eliminated entirely.
This may not be the sole reason. And, sure, there are those who really don’t try to hard to find work and bring their problems upon themselves.
But, it is important to have help available.
Federal programs such as food stamps are crucial, despite flaws and abuse. However, we can’t sit back and rely just on the feds to fulfill this mission.
We have to take care of our own. That is were these groups come into the picture.
No, they don’t just offer handouts and don’t grant enough money for the applicants to leave debt free. But, the can fill in the gaps and help folks stay in their homes or keep the lights burning.
Now, they are facing an onslaught of residents seeking aide. This has depleted their funds and they need help themselves.
Many rail against the government and its meddling. Here is an opportunity to step up and do some good at the local level, Washington, D.C., be damned.
It’s time to put money where the mouths are.