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Local charities busy under weight of need and expectation

In regard to the current state of affairs, charities are reporting an increase of need for food and financial assistance as debate grows over an end to evictions and COVID-19 unemployment. Locally, the oilfield has not reached its former glory weighing down recovery efforts.
“I think there is a trinkled down effect and we are in an economic crisis,” Compassionate Hands Director Joanne Riley said. “We are in a double whammy with a lot of people are being laid off in the oil field. Unemployment is running out.
“I have more and more people saying to me, I have never done this before. We are seeing more and more of those.”
Riley said 31 families have been helped this month, while the organization also has been passing out gas cards and personal items such as diapers.
“I only had four that have been to us before,” she said. “A few months ago in May, we helped 29 families of which eight had been to us before.”
Yukon Sharing Ministry is seeing similar things in terms of an uptick for services needed.
“We are having more and more needing food that we have not seen until now,” Executive Director Missy King said. “They also need rent and utilities, and we are
bringing in more volunteers.”
King also said from what she has seen, entities such as the Oklahoma City Water Department need to be paid after having suspended payments for an extended period.
“People have gotten to this point and utility people need to be paid,” she said. “We have seen some bills that are high. Before they were being lenient. We are getting a lot of calls now. Also, with rent.”
Riley said Oklahoma City stretched out its moratorium on cutoffs much longer than OG&E and the City of Yukon.
“What is going on is their water bill have creeped up,” Riley said. “Payment arrangements are working with them. But it is so hard to catch up when you are so far behind.”
Compassionate Hands is accepting donations of toilet paper, hygiene products, shampoo and soap.
King said despite the increase in services needed, Yukon Sharing Ministry has risen to the challenge. People have remained generous with their donations.
“From November through January, we were covered up,” King said. “The stimulus made things slow. I was talking to someone from Manna Country, and they see the same thing. Now we can see the people needing a lot of help again but that is what we are here for.”

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