In the Dubuque community, multiple organizations make up the safety net intended to help people from falling through the cracks in difficult times. But keeping the safety net intact takes help from the community.
One of those providers needs that help now.
Leaders of People in Need, a local nonprofit providing rent and utility assistance, say they soon will exhaust their funds amid a growing demand for aid.
Recommended for you
The volunteer-run aid agency had only $8,834 left in its checking account recently amid historically high demand for its services. Local churches and social service agencies refer prospective clients to People in Need for a variety of financial needs, principally unpaid rent and utility costs but also expenses such as outstanding medical debt.
The number of requests and the amount paid out by the agency has grown steadily over the past several years. Per the nonprofit’s annual report, People in Need assisted 109 households in 2022 — 56% more than in 2021 — and issued $61,511 in assistance — 64% more than the year before.
Here’s a chance for the community to step up and support this nonprofit that has supported so many others over the years. Reach out to People in Need at PeopleInNeed7995@gmail.com or send donations to People In Need, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2155 University Ave., Dubuque, IA 52001.
Help keep Dubuque’s safety net strong.
A nod to City of Dubuque officials for pursuing a secondary responder model to address homelessness in the community.
City of Dubuque officials are moving forward with an effort to help first responders better assist residents in crisis. City Council members recently voted unanimously to explore establishing partnerships with local organizations that can assist with the program and to seek grants to fund full-time critical incident team officer positions.
Police Chief Jeremy Jensen presented to council members the proposed structure of the city’s secondary responder model, which would prioritize providing on-site and referral services for people experiencing a crisis, such as homelessness or mental health issues.
This is an idea first raised in tandem with an ordinance change in September regarding camping and inoperable vehicles to help address the city’s issues with homelessness. City officials agreed at the time that while the move gave police an enforcement option to move people along, it did not address the underlying issue of the increase in homelessness.
While we would have liked to see the secondary responder piece put into motion at the same time as the ordinance, it’s great to see implementation of the idea moving forward. Now, let’s continue to move purposefully to get this fully in place.
There are service agencies that have filled needs in the community for so long that no one can imagine life in Dubuque without them.
Dubuque Rescue Mission is one such agency. It has served meals and housed men faced with housing insecurity for more than nine decades.
For the last 16 years, that good work has been led by Rick Mihm, who announced this week his plans to retire this summer.
Like the compassionate man of faith he has always been, Mihm vows to continue to serve the mission. He will put in hours at the new drop-in center at 1598 Jackson St. when it opens and help out more in the rescue mission kitchen. He still will invite rescue mission residents out to his farm in the warmer months.
Under Mihm’s leadership, the role of the mission expanded dramatically, adding a greenhouse and vegetable gardens out back, several units of transitional housing, a second thrift store focused on furniture and a mobile food pantry piloted last year. The staff of five has grown to 27. Through growth, change, a pandemic and other times of great need, Mihm was a steady hand and a caring heart.
A big thank-you to Rick Mihm for his years of dedication. On the shoulders of facilities like the mission, Dubuque is able to care for its most vulnerable citizens.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.