The Upper Des Moines Opportunity office in Storm Lake continues to be busy.
UDMO director Jamey Whitney says during the past year, they served nearly 23-hundred people in Buena Vista County, or over 850 families. He says that’s about the same as the previous year, but there has been an increase in food pantry and housing assistance.
Whitney says one of UDMO’s biggest challenges is housing, with more requests for emergency funding to help with utilities or rent. During the past fiscal year, Upper Des Moines provided services in Buena Vista County totaling 512-thousand dollars… including 232-thousand for emergency and energy services, 165-thousand dollars in food programs, and 74-thousand dollars for winterization.
This week, Whitney presented Upper Des Moines’ annual funding request to the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors. They’re asking for 18-thousand dollars, the same as last year, plus one-thousand dollars for UDMO’s Chore program, which provides eligible applicants age 60 and over with home chores.
Whitney says the funding requested will be used to continue meeting the needs of Buena Vista County residents who are most at-risk… including those who have lost their jobs, lost their homes, or met with other financial or emotional hardships.