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Interfaith Community Services sees sharp rise in need from the community

People who have never needed assistance before, are now asking for help.

As the number of people unemployed continues to rise, more and more San Diegans are turning to community organizations for help.

"It's a scary time because we've never seen challenges like this, we've never seen job losses at this rate simultaneous to a pandemic that has people fearing for their lives," said Greg Angela, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, an organization that provides food, shelter, and financial assistance to people who have fallen on hard times.

He says the stories he's hearing are heartbreaking, but common.

"We heard from a dad who lost his job at a local agricultural business, due to the stay at home order," he said. "He's never been unemployed in his life. He came here and got food for his family."

His organization also helps people apply for jobs.

"There are employers hiring but require people to be directly in contact with people, people are scared about that. We're helping people to equip people to get those jobs."

His organization just received a $100,000 grant from the San Diego
COVID-19 Community Response Fund,
  a fund that has raised millions to help local families and non-profits. News 8 is its media partner.

"In this period of uncertainty, tremendous economic anxiety, the community response fund really does serve as a lifeline for San Diegans who are in immediate need of help and assistance," said County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

Today volunteers and staff members at Interfaith Community Services, practice social distancing.as they deliver food straight to people in the parking lot.

Though many are receiving help, some showed up to donate. 

"It makes you feel good, there's so many people in need," said  Jan Behrhorst. "Everyone needs to do something."

"There's nothing to be ashamed of asking for help," said Angela. "Asking for help is one of the most important things anyone in need in this crisis can do."

"We're gonna get through this together it's gonna be a tough time ahead but we will get through this," he added.

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