Non-profits have hard time helping people during pandemic

A recent survey shows that social service agencies are helping more than 200K fewer people in Kalamazoo this year due to COVID.

Serving the community is a difficult business during the best of times. It’s even harder during a global pandemic that limits face-to-face interactions.

A survey conducted by Hub One over the summer suggests that non-profit agencies in the greater Kalamazoo area will serve 230,000 fewer people during the second half of this year than they would have otherwise.

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It’s a staggering number and one that indicates the need for assistance may be the higher than ever.

“During the COVID-19 shutdown a lot of nonprofit agencies that do really good work all but lost their primary means of providing services: face-to-face contact with people,” said Luke Kujacznski, executive director of Urban Alliance Inc. in Kalamazoo, in an interview with Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave.

“And that occurred at a time when people needed it most.”

The survey found that many organizations saw requests for their services increase by as much as 50%. That includes requests for essential services such as food, housing, and mental health services.

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