The Center for People in Need Sees Increase in Applications
By Emily Diesing , Student Worker Nebraska Public Media News
June 30, 2022, 2 p.m. ·
The Center for People in Need provides basic assistance and educational opportunities that are needed to achieve economic independence. As the number of families asking for help decreased during recovery from the pandemic, inflation and a recent cyber-attack have brought more families needing assistance.
Steve Sheridan, the center’s Deputy Director, says they’re expecting a heavy influx of families after the 4th of July. This is due to Sunday’s cyber-attack on the Nebraska Department of Labor causing the delayed release of unemployment benefits.
“We’re seeing a lot of familiar faces come through again that weren’t coming in a while," Sheridan said. "We’re speculating that they were kind of getting by, and with the cost of gas and goods going up, we’re starting to see them now because they’re just not able to make those ends meet. So they’re needing a little more of our assistance with food and diapers."
Sheridan said the center helped nearly 500 families alone on Tuesday. Because some families coming in have many children to feed, the center decided to adjust the food portions they had been previously giving out. Families with 4-7 members now get double the usual portion of food that is given to families of up to three members.
Some of the increased need also is coming from refugee families settling in Lincoln.
“We’ve been seeing families from Afghanistan and the Ukraine. And some of our Afghanistan families will have eight, nine, ten children. So the size of our families has increased as well," Sheridan said. .
Families in need of assistance can visit the Center for People in Need to complete an application and get a supply of food and diapers. The center is open through Friday but will be closed for July 4th. Distribution will start again Tuesday morning.