Manatee County non-profits see an influx of residents needing assistance

BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) – The non-profit organization Turning Points said they have 10 to 12 new residents every day in need of assistance in their day resource center. The center gives residents access to basic necessities like showers, to use a computer, get food, laundry services and even get their mail. The organization is also seeing a 50 percent increase in applications for housing needs said director of developments Margi Dawson.

“We have clients coming in where their rent is going up $500 a month and they are already struggling to meet that monthly payment,” said Dawson. “So now, they have to move because now they can’t and so they’re looking for more affordable options and that’s not even available.”

According to Dawson, it’s a multifaceted problem that includes repercussions from COVID, inflation, increased rent prices and hurricane Ian. The hurricane displaced a number of families and residents and according to Dawson, those losing their homes are now making their way to Manatee County in need of assistance.

One resident visiting Turning Points was picking up a check to help her pay a security deposit for a new apartment. Caron Alf was living in her car for 28 days before finding an apartment to live in. According to Alff, she wouldn’t be able to afford it on her own, and without Turning Points she would be choosing four walls and a roof instead of food, water, and clothes.

“It’s a relief off of me because if I did pay this, I wouldn’t be able to eat you know, no money,” said Alff. “They took every penny I had just to get me in there.”

Alff isn’t alone, according to Dawson in the months of August and September 1,000 people came to Turning Points for assistance each month. She said half of those coming in were new people to the organization.

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