By CRISTINA JANNEY
The First Call for Assistance has seen its demand for food multiply last month and expects more calls for resources because the financial decline caused by coronavirus continues.
The organization distributes twice as much food in March compared to February, said Linda Mills, director of First Call for Help.
Most of the aid came in the last few weeks in March, and Mills said he believed that half of the aid was the result of people being terminated due to the corona virus.
First Call also provides rental and utility assistance. Mills said First Call had not seen an increase in demand for this type of assistance, but he said he thought the demand would likely increase if layoffs continued.
The Governor has issued an order to delay the eviction and termination of connections at least until this month. First Call does not schedule interviews for utilities and rental assistance until after May 1.
First Call applied for a grant to help what Mills thought was an increase in the need for assistance in the coming weeks and months.
The First Call does not see people face to face as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus. Workers take applications by telephone. Food donations and food assistance are carried out through contactless procedures.
First Call plans to post a list of food and household items that need to be donated Facebook page in the coming days.
If you want to make a donation, Mills suggests you call first. Goods can be left at the east side door. Monetary donations can be made online through First Call website. Checks can also be sent to First Call for Help, 607 E. 13th St., Hays, KS 67601.
Lottery First Step
A group of 310 Leadership students from Fort Hays State University had scheduled a donkey basketball game in April to raise funds for the First Step for Help First Step project.
Orders to stay at the governor’s house resulted in the event being canceled, but students are still trying to raise money for the First Step through the draw which will run now until May 3.
Participants in the program will stay at the center, work and take classes on subjects such as budgeting.
The aim is to help people move to permanent and stable housing that they own.
Meleny Jacome, FHSU student in organizational leadership, said the students wanted to raise awareness about homelessness even during this coronavirus crisis.
“Now everyone says, ‘Stay at home. Stay at home. But it’s very difficult to do when you don’t have a home,” he said.
Homelessness may not look the same in Hays as in the cities, he said. Homeless individuals may move from house to house, sleeping on friends couches.
However, Jacome said that does not mean there is no need for programs such as First Call and First Step in Hays.
“Everyone needs a safe place to return to – where they can build a family,” he said.
The students draw four baskets.
Lottery ticket prices are one for $ 2, five for $ 5, 15 for $ 10, and 40 for $ 20.
If you don’t want to buy lottery tickets, but want to donate to the First Step project, you can do it directly through First Call for Help website. Select the First Step program from the appointment menu on the online donation form.
Students will write your first and last name, and phone number on the lottery ticket, and they will send you a picture of the front and back of the ticket for your documentation.
Payments can be taken online through Venmo @ FirstCall-ForHelp. You can contact one of the students below for more information or to buy lottery tickets.
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