Waco, TX (FOX 44) – Inflation on grocery shelves, higher energy bills, and supply chain problems are causing many in the community to spend more.
At Caritas, they are seeing clients from all backgrounds and income levels, as the increased demand is recognizable.
“I’ve just seen the lines gotten a lot longer,” said Janie Rogers-Ramon, client services director at Caritas. “When we opened that door at 8:30 to let the clients in to receive the services. It can be a long line longer than usual.”
Rogers-Ramon has been working at Caritas since 2015 and says they’re now seeing an increase in regular clients and new ones needing help.
“[They’re] catching up from, utility, food, medicine, along with rental assistance,” said Rogers-Ramon. ‘They’re just trying to keep up.”
Relying on donations and private funding sources, Rogers-Ramon doesn’t see themselves falling short from helping anyone.
“We do not turn anyone away. So if you’re in need of a service you are able to come and receive these services,” said Rogers-Ramon.
At the Waco Salvation Army, the number of clients seeking services for TXU has doubled over the last 3 weeks.
“Usually we would do about 8 to 9 in a day and [now] about 18,” said Renee Mauk, Social Services Director at the Waco Salvation Army.
They also have more clients seeking assistance for Atmos Energy.
“The Atmos has increased where we were just doing one a month, [now] we’re doing probably at least one a day, if not more than one a day,” said Mauk.
Receiving funds from both TXU and Atmos Energy to help clients cover bills under $500, the high number of visitors needing help is making the Salvation Army spend money faster.
“We keep a running tally and they keep a running tally also at TXU,” said Mauk. “So if they see an increase in what we’re providing, then they will increase the amount of money that they send.”
Seeing clients similar to Caritas, Mauk says inflation is hitting everyone across the board.
“Everybody. Even people with full time jobs. We’re still getting those people coming in and and needing assistance because their electric bill went from 200 and something to 700,” said Mauk.
For anyone seeking utility assistance you can call Caritas at 254-753-4593, and you can call the Salvation Army at 254-756-7271.