JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—Before the pandemic, one in four families in Jackson lived right around the poverty line. That’s according to research done by the United Way. CEO Ken Toll says, things are getting worse, as evictions become more, and more frequent.
“One management company in Jackson posted notices a couple days ago on people’s doors, and our phone lines lit up with people saying, we need help,” said United Way of Jackson CEO, Ken Toll.
John Willis is currently working to help families find temporary housing. He says, in just the last few weeks the number of families being forced to relocate has more than doubled.
“The combination of Covid, and the economic situation that communities are facing right now has presented a certain challenge that has made it kind of awful for some families,” said Chief Equity Officer for the City of Jackson, John Willis.
The city says, it continues to help as many families as possible, including with water and utilities, but they say the best thing to do is to call 2-1-1.
“We would make sure that they are at that point in the process that they have been to court, and got that judgment because a lot of the agencies do require that it is to that point, and then they would walk them through what resources are available in their area,” said 211 Program Supervisor, Melissa Ladd-Patnode.
Last month they received more than 400 calls for housing needs across Mid-Michigan. They say they can also help with things like legal aid, as well managing finances.
Toll says, they are working with several organizations to decide if they need to start another relief fund, adding right now, any support to help these families is welcomed.
“If anyone can step up, and do any gift at all right now, we will gladly accept it, and put it to work immediately,” said Toll.