End of unemployment benefit causing many to seek assistance

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — Even before the covid pandemic started, area not for profits were getting stretched to max to provide services for people in need.

But that need has grown exponentially since that time.

Ever since the $600 a week unemployment benefit ended at the end of July, and so far hasn’t been renewed, area non-profits have been inundated with requests for help.

Among them is Crosslines Ministry Joplin and the Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri.

And while some needing help for food and rental assistance have been there before, many have not.

Rodney Rambo, Executive Director, Crosslines Ministry Joplin, said, “Yeah, we’re seeing a lot of folks who’ve never been here before, have never got set up for our services before, that this is their first time needing assistance.”

Stephanie Brady says it’s much the same story at the Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri.

Stephanie Brady, Executive Director, Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri, said, “So we’ve had a significant number of new requests for services.”

To keep up with the demand for services from both existing as well as new clients, Rambo says he’s been trying a two pronged approach.

One, trying to qualify for additional grants, and two, having to go back to the ministry’s financial supporters and asking for more money.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick there at the end of July, beginning of August, we saw as much as 20 to 30% increase and then here recently in the last week or se we’ve seen as much as 40 to 45% increase in the daily number of folks coming in,” said Rambo.

Brady’s trying a similar approach, but the clinic can only provide services to the uninsured, not the underinsured.

“They may eventually qualify for Medicaid or other benefits but right now they don’t, or people who have been or hoping to go into new employment but it might be three to six months before they’re eligible for insurance,” said Brady.

If you’d like to help Crosslines and or the Community Clinic with their increased needs for service, follow the links below.



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