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Letter from New Hope Ministries – 04-20-2020

April 20, 2020

Dear Friends,

I wanted to take a moment to write all of you since we haven’t been able to gather together. I pray that each of you and your loved ones are well and God has been good to you, either by keeping you healthy or giving you His strength to endure.

We are about to begin week 6 at New Hope Ministries where we have closed our doors to the public and have been packing food and filling our guests’ cars in the parking lot!  I have been spending the days working in the pantry and warehouse—I’m building up my biceps as I carry pallets and boxes! We are easily seeing close to 20 new families a week (sometimes more).

Until yesterday, we have hardly done any financial crisis simply because the PA Health Department has deemed utilities and housing as necessary for proper health. Therefore, no one can be shut off or evicted—at least legally. However, last week Eric spoke on channel 21. He stated that New Hope Ministries has $100,000 to use for those who are behind on their rent due to the effects of COVID-19 (sickness, death, loss of job, etc.). Linda DeCroes, my Assistant Manager, is working from home. She is the one who is taking all the calls for the agency as a whole. We are serving only those in New Hope’s service area.

The other situation we have come across is those losing their jobs during this virus. There our those coming for food who are not eligible for unemployment because they have not been at their jobs long enough. Mechanicsburg has a Workforce team who is working together to help those needing jobs. Even though we cannot hold our training classes due to many of them being held at HACC or the Dauphin Adult Tech school, this group of volunteers are going to attempt to teach Dollar & Sense and Soft Skills via Zoom, help with resumes, and help with employment assists and referrals through the list of job opportunities we receive. Please pray for this team as they give their time from home to help our guests. This system seems to be working: Last week a gentleman drove up for a first time food assist due to losing his job due to the virus, he was a cook at a restaurant. I listened to his story as I took down the necessary information I needed from him. I asked him if I could give his name and contact information to a Workforce Team to help him get another job. By the end of the week, this gentleman had a phone interview with one of our employees on our Road to Success list and I just received an email that he accepted the job!! Through strange times, God is in control!

If you hear of anyone needing help with rent or utilities, or in need of a job, please send them our way. As stated, Linda is caring for all the rent and utilities from home. The number to reach her is (717) 432-2087 x3009.

Mechanicsburg is not helping with PPL, Operation Help at this time. The person from PPL who is in charge of this program has given me contact information that you can give to anyone who has received a “you may be shut off” notice. Again, no one can be shut off at this time, however, PPL wants to be proactive. Here is a website and phone number for customers to reach out for assistance:

https://www.pplelectric.com/billhelp

1-800-342-5775

If you know of anyone who is in need of a job, please contact me via my phone: 717-766-7333, ext. 3010 or my email, mwheeler@nhm-pa.net.  I most likely will not answer right away, but I will receive the message and send the information along to the Workforce Team.

Thank you for all your prayers and support!  May the Lord give us strength and protection as we all partner together to serve our community.

Blessings and Prayers,

Mary Wheeler

 

Saint Katharine Drexel