Families are struggling now more than ever.
Local outreach centers say they have helped more families this year than ever before. Part of the reason they say is because of the inflation.
One mom spoke about her journey and how the community was there to support her.
Xiomara Rodriguez moved to Erie almost 15 years ago. During that time, she was raising her daughter all by herself.
“I was a single mother. I have to work for daycare, everything, my house, the lights, the gas, the water, all of the bills,” said Xiomara Rodriguez, mother.
But, moving to a whole new country was hard on her. She was struggling to support herself and her daughter financially.
Rodriguez reached out for help at the St. Martin Center in Erie. They helped her with mortgage payments, giving her food and clothes while providing daycare for her daughter.
Now more than ever, she’s needed their help because of inflation.
“Everything is expensive. Before you can do a grocery, but now it’s, like, double expensive,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez is not alone. The St. Martin Center helps thousands of people every year in Erie County, but those numbers have been climbing recently.
“It seems like every month our numbers are increasing and we are certainly doing our best to meet the demand, but we are all hoping for relief in the costs,” said David Gonzalez, CEO of St. Martin Center.
Representatives with other outreach centers we spoke with said this has been a record year for the amount of families that they have had to help.
“Since inflation and the increase of gas costs and the increase of food costs are skyrocketing, our umbers continue to climb. I feel like everyone is struggling and we get to see that first hand at our pantry,” said Mabel Howard, Executive Director at Bethany Outreach Center.
Rodriguez said she’s extremely grateful for the love and support that she has received from the St. Martin Center.
“They helped me a lot and I really appreciate it. I thank God first and I thank God because they put them in my way to help me,” Rodriguez said.
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The Bethany Outreach Center offers food and clothes every Wednesday around 10 a.m. For more information about the center, click here.
The St. Martin Center offers food every day starting near 8:45 a.m. You can click here for more information about the St. Martin Center.