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Santa Barbara’s Catholic Charities handling increased needs

Catholic Charities of Santa Barbara County says it’s available to handle the increased flow of people in need that may be increasing with the recent temporary shut down of the Unity Shoppe.

Already it serves thousands of clients from Santa Maria to Carpinteria daily. ” It’s a big county, and we cover every corner of it. We’re seeing more people. I think we can handle more people, ” said Catholic Charities Manager Brian Clark.

Recently, the FoodBank added another distribution site at the Catholic Charities office on Haley Street.

A load of fruits and vegetables are available daily along with canned goods and snacks. It’s part of a sweeping net of services to help those who are facing challenging times.

” It’s a monthly struggle, a weekly struggle, to stay afloat here, ” said Clark. ” We provide weekly food, we have a rental assistance program, we do clothes vouchers here at the thrift store. We help people get set up in a new apartment with furniture. ”

One regular client at the Catholic Charities Food Pantry picked up a good selection of essential from the shelves.

” This helps a lot. This place is like a Godsend. I do appreciate this place, ” said Claire Frances Dickerman .

Often one person will tell another in need.

” I tell them, I say ‘Hey, you might need to come for some free food,’ ” she said.

It’s apparent. The numbers have jumped significantly in the last couple of years.

” The weekly food is probably about $60-worth of food a week and if you add that up in the course of a month it really helps people that don’t have to spend that money on food budget to cover some other areas, ” said Clark.

The Thrift Store is also a money generator for the overall budget.

Tuesday there was a 75%-off sale out front that created a lot of interest from people popping by or making one of the many donations that come in by the bag loads.

” People should know that the things they donate to the thrift store are helping other people as well. It’s helping us to buy food but it is also coming back to clients that need clothes and household items, ” said Clark.

Catholic Charities began in 1924. It provides services regardless of a person’s faith.

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KEYT News Team