As inflation rises, local non-profit helps community

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From inflation to supply chain issues to the pandemic itself, the cost of seemingly everything has gone up lately.

“The price of childcare went up because, pandemic and people trying to find it,” said Community Action Duluth Transportation Coach Liza Williamson. “The pay didn’t really go up, so people are still trying to work their jobs and pay for this apartment that is now, rent was for $650, let’s say, and now it’s $825 or something like that. So they’re still trying to do that, and they’re like, oh now my car’s broke and so how am I going to get new tires for my car, now winter’s here. Now little Johnny’s gotta go to daycare, and now that’s $150 a week and so it’s a lot of planning and just trying to make it work.”

If you’re struggling with any of these issues, Community Action Duluth has programs that can help you afford rent, food, and even a car.

“I help people get their driver’s license, get their car repaired,” explained Williamson. “We do a bike plus program in the summertime to help people who aren’t ready to drive or can’t drive still have a way to get around. We have a jumpstart program that helps people to save for a car.”

The non-profit provides services to help in other ways as well.

“We can help them navigate some of those barriers with employment, trying to help them find employment,” explained MFIP Employment Counselor Kennedy Mosher. “We do have homebuyer and financial and educational coaching here too, so they can kind of help people work through all of those things.they can start from creating a basic budget to home buying, your first home.”

“The cost of food is really high, especially in our Lincoln Park Area,” said Williamson. “We have no grocery store, so they’re just trying to find ways to get food. “We’re always telling them, AICHO offers the food boxes. The Lincoln Park Services downstairs, they also do food, and then we have our mobile market where you are able to use your EBT and they have match benefits.”

While there are several organizations in the area to help people struggling to afford rent, food, and transportation, anyone can help just by looking out for each other and being proactive.

“Just reach out. Just be an open ear, open arm,” said Williamson. “A lot of people just need that, whether it’s somebody to talk to, somebody to bounce ideas off, just somebody to be there for them. because trying to do it by themself, that’s how things spiral out of control and then people go into chaos and then end up losing more than they actually have to.”

More information on the recent rise in inflation can be found at this link.