Area crisis agencies seeing high demand for help

Dianne Scott says more than 90 families seek help daily at Rowan Helping Ministries in Salisbury.
Dianne Scott says more than 90 families seek help daily at Rowan Helping Ministries in Salisbury.

Written by David Whisenant

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The economy and the cold snap are creating high demand for help at local shelters and crisis agencies.

From the line to the soup kitchen outside to the full lobby inside, Rowan Helping Ministries in Salisbury is seeing a lot of need.

Executive Director Dianne Scott told us, "The numbers are overwhelming, normally we would see 70 households a day on a day like today, but we're routinely now seeing 90, 100, and yesterday 104."

The overnight shelter, the clothes closet, and the food pantry, all busy.

"We're talking about double the numbers that we normally see," Scott added.

Teresa Phillips is getting help today to heat her home, and pick up groceries. Health problems forced her out of a job, now she's looking again, but in the meantime needs help with paying the bills and keeping food on the table for her family.

"I am not too proud to come a lot of people are, they shy, I have a lot of my friends talking about they don't want to come and they need to come and stop being afraid to come for help because as long as it's out here I'm going to be here to get it until I get a job," Phillips said.

That's the situation here in Rowan County, but I also made calls to the Cooperative Christian Ministries in Concord. Ed Hosak says they are seeing more whole families staying in the overnight shelter.

It's on Patterson Avenue in Concord, they also offer financial assistance and have four food pantries. The number to call there is 704-239-7265.

In Statesville at the Fifth Street Ministries on Fifth Street, Melanie Knapp told me they are seeing a lot of first-time visitors to the overnight shelter. They serve three meals a day and operate a clothes closet.

All three agencies say they may also need help themselves in order to provide the help they are giving to so many.