Working Class Families Request Aid

Higher rent, pricier food and energy bills are forcing working class families to ask for help. It's a nationwide trend that is growing in Amarillo as agencies like the Salvation Army are now tasked with helping these new clients.

NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg explains how the Salvation Army, and one of these families are trying to make ends meet.

We spoke with people between jobs, with one job, or even two, that are putting their pride aside to ask for help. For them it's comforting to know, they're not alone.

"I've never had to ask anyone for help. You'd think most people would be making it with jobs," says Natasha Rios.

Especially if they have two. Natasha Rios stopped by the Salvation Army for the first time. Even with two jobs she says she needs help paying bills, to support herself and her son.

"I'm struggling a little bit but I'm making it. I need help paying my rent and I wasn't getting it anywhere else," says Rios.

Those working at the Army, say this kind of story is becoming all too common.

"These are people who are employed and well-dressed it's not the typical pantry people, we're seeing everybody now," says Maryann Lara, a case worker with the Army.

They're asking for financial help, and clothing but mostly food. 136 families have stopped by the agency to pick-up groceries, that's 35 more than last month. The Army is having a hard time meeting the need.

"I have to go client by client and what their need is, some I can do most, and some we just go from there," says Lara.

Rios hopes this is a one-time request. She was it was difficult to ask, but desperately needed.

"If you need it you might as well go ahead and ask for it, even though it might be hard," says Rios.

The Salvation Army offers up rent or utility assistance to people once a year, and food once every three months. Even with those restrictions, they remain swamped.