Anchorage Sees Dismal Upswing in Social Service Needs
Tough economy means food pantries and rent assistance are in higher demand
Call it a sign of tough economic times, but social service providers say more people than ever are struggling to make ends meet in Anchorage. More people are going to food banks and looking for assistance so they don’t end up on the streets.
Viola Murphy is one of them. Murphy is grateful for her subsidized apartment, thankful to have a roof over her head after almost two years of homelessness. She works as a school crossing guard, a job she held even when she was on the streets. The money she earns helps pay her bills, but just barely.
“I go to the food pantries twice a week, I am so grateful for the food pantries,” says Murphy.
Murphy is not alone. Social service workers say the lines are growing of people in need, mostly the working poor.
“Last week we saw 130 people,” says Lutheran Social Services Director Alan Budhal. “People waited
According to providers, food is an extremely important part of the equation for people who are struggling. If they can get food free at pantries they can save their precious dollars for other things, like rent.
United Way says it’s no wonder people are falling behind and looking for resources to keep the housing they have.