Local Needs Grow

Jeremy Aldrich -- November 19th, 2009

According to several recent news stories, more people are seeking food and shelter from local charities.  The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank says it is serving 90,000 people a month, compared to 70,000 a month at this time last year. Mercy House, a local shelter, reports that it is full and has a waiting list of 21 families.  The shelter only has space for 12 families at a time.

In related news, a recent Thanksgiving turkey drive struggled to reach its goal of 1,000 turkeys for needy families, but was put within striking distance of its goal by a donation of 478 turkeys from Cargill. The company learned about the project from a WHSV interview with Mayor Degner.

As hburgnews reported last month, the Salvation Army will also have a food drive underway from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

For those seeking assistance, the Community Resource Center offers a list of area services.

6 Responses to “Local Needs Grow”

  1. Makes you wonder how a group that can house only 12 families got $700,000 in stimulus funds and what they’re going to do with that much money.

  2. linz says:

    I’m not affiliated with MH, so this is just speculation, but as an outsider, I would make a low estimate of three people per family unit, multiply that by twelve, then saying MH is at capacity all year long which seems to be the case with the waiting list, I would multiply by 52 weeks in the year = 1872. Then, $700,000 / 1872 = $373.93 a person a week. $373.93 / 7 = $53.42 a person a day. And it’s probably less seeing as they support other personal needs, offer career and family counseling, and offer other community programs than just daily meals and lodging; and of course incur some administrative costs. Doesn’t really seem unreasonable to me.

    I looked on their website for financial info, but didn’t see any.

  3. linz says:

    But here’s their phone number if you want to ask: (540) 432-1812.

  4. Emmy says:

    I volunteered at MH a while back and they always have a waiting list. While I was there the housing needed a lot of repairs (probably due to the number of families coming through) so $700,000 could be spent on fixing the units easily. The housing units are VERY basic but get a lot of use.

  5. Emmy;
    What kind of volunteer opportunities were available?

  6. Emmy says:

    It’s been a while Bubby, but at the time I was looking for something to do with my children. They had a family that spoke a language that no one seemed to know and the family had a small child that needed some interaction with other kids. We went and took her outside to play a few times. They weren’t there very long. I also helped with some eBay auctions they were doing of donated items.

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