Crisis centers sees influx of Siouxlanders in need

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The pandemic caused many businesses to close their doors but that wasn’t the case for crisis centers around Siouxland. Instead, they had record numbers of people seeking their assistance.

“What started at a 1,000 to 1,200 now it’s up to 1,400 calls per month increase for the state crisis hotline,” said Shari Kastein, the Executive Director of the Family Crisis Center in Sioux Center.

The Family Crisis Center serves 17 northwest Iowa counties for domestic violence services.

“We had over 650 new clients that came in, so that’s not a duplication of people who have gotten services before, that’s over 650 new clients reaching our for services,” said Kastein.

It’s a similar trend in Sioux City. Safe Place serves over 1,400 people in Woodbury and Le Mars.

“There’s been a definite increase in people coming forward to get that help and, you know, the kind of help that we are seeing that folks need right now is a lot of rental assistance, you know, people who lost their jobs and got behind on rental payments, that sort of thing,” said Robin McGinty, the executive director of Safe Place.

In fact, housing assistance has become a major issue in the first weeks of 2021.

“The number one call we are receiving is about what resources are available in the community, specifically those economic resources, so we’re working with a lot of nonprofits that have received funding for rental assistance,” said McGinty.

“We have the funding in place, we’ve been supported now our mission is simply to assist those people who have been finically hurt due to COVID or the economy and we really want to make sure no more people become homeless in our community,” said Steve Hallgeren, the Director of Housing and Homelessness at the Family Crisis Center.

Siouxland crisis centers say it’s a collaborate effort with one another to help keep Siouxlanders on their feet, but they don’t foresee these numbers of people in need decreasing anytime soon.

“I don’t see the pandemic, once it gets smoothed out, or the numbers of the pandemic come down, our violent numbers are still going to be ever so high. So, we need to get more staff and more help in so we can absorb that increase,” said Kastein.

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