Thanks to the pandemic, a Quad Cities social service agency is even busier than it was before.
Executive Director Dwight Ford says Project Now already had plenty of work, helping people in Rock Island, Henry, and Mercer counties with housing, health care, and nutrition. Then COVID-19 "demolished" the what little support many people had.
"There are some that are kind of staple calls which is rent and morgage assistance and things of that nature, but now they're doubled in the amount that they need. It's a very tough time for a lot of people."
Ford says last month the derecho then made a bad situation even worse by forcing people to throw out their food.
"Think about the mental weight that is on families - domestic violence numbers have increased and that impacts people in a unique way when they could not get out. The sobriety reality of so many people that counted on the high touch commitments of sitting in a support group."
But there is hope and help. He urges anyone having a difficult time in the Illinois Quad Cities to call Project Now (309-793-6391) and find out what sort of assistance they qualify for - whether it's rent or morgage assistance, or help paying electricity and water bills.