When the conversation turns on tangible issues like mortgages and financing, folks just seem to speak freely.
When it comes down to the visceral notion of survival, however, pride seems to throw up some stumbling blocks.
At least that was one man’s take Tuesday night when about 40 people gathered in the Sandusky State Theatre for the third installment of the Register’s six-part Solutions forum, a town hall-style meeting to provide residents with the tools they need to survive in this morose economy.
“There should be a lot more people here to hear what our county agencies have to offer,” the man said. “Pride has a lot to do with keeping people away.”
Still, the forum drew dozens of people eager to learn more about local programs and agencies
that can assist when it comes to life’s essentials: food, housing, utilities, transportation and more.
The man who had encouraged people to attend the meeting, in fact, had been through the financial ringer himself — having lost two jobs after suffering health problems.
He had turned to many of the agencies whose representatives were among the 13 panelists at
“They just want to help so they can get you over this,” the man said. “I’ve been a part of all the agencies here, and they’ve all helped.”Representatives included directors of social service agencies, utility companies and food pantries.
“We don’t do a handout — we do a hand-up,” said Earl King, coordinator of Great Food For All.
Great Food For All and Angel Food Ministries are two unique, faith-based programs that offer high-quality food at low prices. For $30, anyone can purchase a box of food that’s worth $60 or more.
“It’s a wonderful program, we just wish more people would take advantage of it,” said Scotia Del Percio, coordinator of Angel Food Ministries.
The food sold by those two programs is purchased through larger organizations that buy in bulk, and there are no eligibility requirements for recipients.
Locally, the two programs are administered through Sandusky Church of God on West Bogart Road and Sandusky Alliance Church on Warren Avenue.
Solutions for other dilemmas abound.
Trying to find information on negotiating a lower mortgage? Call Ken Williamson at Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office, 888-896-6446.
Are you a parent looking for a way to get to work but can’t afford a car? Call Your Job Store at
419-624-6451 and apply for a one-time program that’ll give you $500 to cover transportation costs.
Need your car repaired but can’t afford it? Try EHOVE’s car repair and bodywork program, or contact local high schools.
Are you a senior looking for fresh produce? Call the Erie County Senior Center at 419-626-2560 and apply for vouchers to help pay for fresh food.
All of the Solutions seminars are videotaped and recast online at sanduskyregister.com. The next Solutions seminar will cover health care and is slated for 7 p.m. next Tuesday at the Sandusky State Theatre.