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URBAN MINISTRY GETTING BACK ON ITS FEET
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URBAN MINISTRY GETTING BACK ON ITS FEET

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Urban Ministry of High Point is doing better financially, but it still needs your help.

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Urban Ministry of High Point - financially strapped just two months ago - has rebounded well as it heads into its busiest season, its director says.

In September, the ministry had to do something it hadn't done in more than 10 years - turn people away because it didn't have enough money to help.``There has been an obvious response in terms of financial support as people became aware of the difficulties that we were facing in the early fall,' director Ron McLaughlin said. ``The response has been heartening and encouraging.

``We've certainly been able to continue to serve our clients, and we anticipate that we'll be able to turn things around before the end of the year, if the community's support for the ministry is what it has been in past years.'

Urban Ministry provides emergency financial help to cover rent, utilities, prescriptions, food, clothing and heating bills for families.

Donations generally pick up as the holiday season and cold weather approach, McLaughlin said. But this year Urban Ministry will need more help than ever, as requests for aid appear headed for an all-time high.

By the end of October, nearly 8,000 families had asked for and received assistance from Urban Ministry. That's compared to only 4,400 families during the same period last year. Only 6,300 requests for aid came in all last year.

Much of the increase has come in requests for clothing, but requests for financial assistance have risen by about 25 percent.

McLaughlin was concerned when he learned that United Way drives around the region did not fare as well as in the past. He said that affects Urban Ministry in a number of ways.

``We're working pretty much hand-in-glove with agencies dependent upon United Way giving, so when they hurt, we hurt,' he said. ``If in any way their services have to be cut, it impacts us.'

WANT TO HELP?

Donations: Urban Ministry of High Point, P.O. Box 1528, High Point, N.C. 27261.

Volunteers: 885-0191.

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