Charities Strained In Caring For Needy - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Charities Strained In Caring For Needy

Some East Texas charities are feeling the strain of supply and demand these days, as more and more people in need are utilizing their services.  Charities like the Salvation Army, Longview Ministries and Hi-way 80 Rescue Mission say they are feeling the strain of people in need.

"The numbers continue to go up," said Longview Salvation Army Major Robert Winters.  "We continue to see people struggling to make ends meet.  As good as our economy gets there's always going to be a number of folks who struggle to make ends meet, who struggle to get to that next paycheck and to get to that home to keep their children clothed."  The local charities say they have all seen a 10 to 20 percent increase of families and individuals they serve over that last year in food and clothing.

"We're up to over 90 guys a night, and we have beds for 80, so we're seeing guys with cots and pallets on the floor," said Hi-way 80 Rescue Mission's J.R. Allgood.  Workers say families with limited budgets have been hit hard by high food and gas prices, and are turning to the charities to cut costs.

"You know the gas prices, I think are part of it," said Allgood.  For many of the people who come in and shop at places like the Salvation Army Thrift Store, they already have jobs, but they're scraping to get by, and it makes more sense to pay a fraction of the price for clothing at a charity than to pay full price somewhere else.

"Everyone needs help somewhere along the line from the poorest person to the richest person,  somewhere along the line they do need help," says former Hi-way 80 resident Bill Karaus.  There's also been more distribution of food to the needy.

"Food, it's the same thing, how am I going to feed my family the rest of this week," said Winters.  Many who come, local charities say live paycheck to paycheck.  With the holiday season coming up, charities say they are in desperate need of donations.  Right now, they are asking for food and winter clothing.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.


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