Amid the bad news, there is so much good…. For eight weeks, the ticker tape news feed had stated number of COVID cases, deaths, unemployment and lack of much-needed items like masks, disinfectant and toilet paper. What you may not have heard are the stories of great giving and sacrifice in our community.
MUST FOOD RAPID RESPONSE
In the days following the shelter-in mandate, MUST swung into action with a new food model that has resulted in thousands being fed. The food pantries in three client services facilities and 39 Neighborhood Pantry locations in schools all became curbside pick-up programs with a box of groceries for every family.
“It’s just myself and my son and I’ve been laid off due to COVID-19 for over a month now. We deeply appreciate MUST for helping us during this pretty tough time.”
34,164 people fed in just 8 weeks
324,869 pounds of food distributed
270,724 Total number of meals given
Housing crisis is only beginning, but MUST is already helping
On any given night, 300 people are sleeping in a MUST bed. With 72 shelter beds, plus Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Rehousing, Tenant Based Rental Assistance and motel vouchers, the MUST Housing program is vital in stabilizing people in poverty. “Our concern is that the pandemic has left so many unemployed and suddenly housing is a bigger issue than ever before, “ said Falecia Stewart, Senior Dir. of Housing at MUST. When the “no eviction policy” is lifted, MUST expects a tidal wave of homelessness. “We are busily working on finding resources for the anticipated increase – some have predicted as much as a 45% increase in homelessness,” Stewart said.
“Every person we can help is one more off the street and into stability.”
585 People have been housed since March 15, 2020.
“We didn’t know from week to week if we were going to be in the motel room or be outside. I’d heard about community organizations that supposedly helped people in need, but I was skeptical about the amount of help they were actually able or willing to offer. MUST completely changed that view. When you get connected to them, they are a compassionate organization. They helped me get a place to live for my children and me.”
And that’s some of the most meaningful news stories of all.