Number of Rental Assistance Requests Rising at Local Charities

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Volunteers can't fill boxes of food fast enough at the Catholic Charities pantry on Andrews Highway. Families aren't just turning to local organizations for something to put on their tables many need cash to keep a roof over their heads.

"The people that we see it's not that they don't want to work, it's that they can't find a job right now," Faye Rodriguez of Catholic Charities said at the thrift shop in Odessa.

Rodriguez said over the last three months they've seen more and more people who need help paying the rent.

"That was a concern," a woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told NewsWest 9. Her family feared they may be evicted, "We couldn't pay the rent."

Up until recently the woman worked along side her husband who installed carpet, but it all changed when he was diagnosed with a heart condition.

"We've been always been able to work. All of a sudden, we got diagnosed with this," she said she hasn't been able to find work. "I really don't know computer skills. Everywhere I am going to apply I have to fill out an application with a computer and I don't know how."

Catholic Charities helped this family cover the rent for June but July is fast approaching and others need help too.

"We're already turning people away." Rodriguez said they're waiting for additional funding, "We're saying: check with us next Friday to see if the money has come in or check with us next week and see what we have available."

Rodriguez says they're trying to add programs to help retrain workers but for now there overwhelmed dealing with the basic necessities.

"I think everybody is hurting and I think the economy is effecting many more people that we would even think," Rodriguez said.