Thousands of people across the Chicago area are asking for help from the Salvation Army during the coronavirus pandemic, and the organization is working to meet those requests.
"People are scared. People want to know that they’re going to be OK, that they’re going to get through this," says Jackie Rachev, Director of Communications for the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. "It’s just mind blowing. People are just hurting and a lot of them are people who were already in a very precarious situation."
The Salvation Army is readily offering assistance to those asking for it during the nearly unprecedented crisis, and says new requests for help are up as much as 500 percent in parts of Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana during the pandemic.
"It’s based on food, it’s based on emergency assistance. People looking for help to pay rent if they’re losing their job, they’re being furloughed, they’re ill," Rachev said.
The city of Chicago has partnered with the Salvation Army and other non-profits in this time of need to provide meals and financial help thanks to help from volunteers and donations.
"One of the things we do is provide that hope. Hope is not cancelled. Hope is still here. We are bringing that hope," Rachev said.
The Salvation Army is also offering an emotional and spiritual support hotline for those who need it at 877-740-8829.