Everyone needs a helping hand now and then. Still, Bethany Thomas said that when it comes to helping community members with rental assistance and utilities, her office sees something more akin to a steady flow.
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Since March of 2020, Thomas, pastor for outreach and care at Calvary Church Golden, and community liaison for the Golden Service Extension Unit (SEU) of the Salvation Army, has been crunching the numbers.
But recently, she said, continued high demand for assistance has forced the SEU to pare down the amount of money available per household.
She said although her organization has provided a high degree of assistance to community members, the prolonged duration of that service level has strained their resources.
For example, Thomas explained that the Golden SEU typically provided rental assistance between $1,500 and $1,500 per household.
That number is now close to $1,000 per household.
And without adequate funding, Thomas said higher levels of assistance, at this time, are not sustainable for the program, “so we had to cut back on the amounts of assistance the Golden SEU can provide each household.”
And that’s a challenge, said Don Cameron, Co-Chair of Golden United Housing Task Force.
Cameron says lower-price apartments in Golden are not readily available on the open market. Typically, individuals in these apartments, he points out, don’t have the means to move, so they stay in place.
He said many of those individuals are not seeking assistance to get into Golden, but rather, not to get “kicked out of Golden.”
Thomas added that although strong partnerships with Golden Civic Foundation, the City of Golden, Golden United, and Act Locally, have helped, the Golden SEU would like to return to its higher level of support.
But it can’t without help from the community.
She said the need remains high; although it is down from previous spikes in 2020, it outpaces the available funding.
Donations are needed.
“Last week, I assisted eight households with rent and utility assistance in just four days,” she said.
To help, visit salvationarmygolden.net
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