By Jen Kastner
MIDLAND/ODESSA- Various non-profit agencies around the Basin are seeing a growing number of women and children struggling to make ends meet.
Imagine being a single mom, a hard working full time employee and being forced to move into a shelter. That is now the reality for many West Texans.
Captain Tex Ellis with the Midland Salvation Army shelter said, "We've seen more women and women with children on a regular basis in July than we have seen in the past months."
There's a lot of money in the Basin right now, driving up the cost of just about everything. The minimum wage earner is often fighting to stay afloat.
"What you would normally classify as rich or poor really takes a broad step in our community," Ellis said.
Summer is a time of transition. The kids are out of school and they're no longer getting free lunches. The energy bills are soaring with all the use of home air conditioning. Many women are working long hours but that's just not cutting it.
Midland Salvation Army Office Manager, Anna Delgado, says, "There are women [in the shelter] that have two jobs. There are women that are really trying to find housing. There's just no housing available or the prices are going up."
The West Texas Food Bank in Odessa is seeing several of these women and children walking through their doors. In just the past month, the food bank has seen double the number of requests for emergency food boxes.
"Mostly from women and they've got small kids," Food Resource Coordinator, Earl Graham, said. "They've just got to choose between being cool by having electricity or having food."