By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The United Way of Reno County is joining with its non-profit partners across the community to try to make it easier for those who need emergency resources to find them. The initiative is called No Wrong Door.
"It's really about bringing resources around a person that's in crisis to give them the best helping hand possible," said Denice Gilliland-Burbank with the United Way. "When I was doing Rally Reno, it became very evident to me that our crisis support system is fractured. COVID just kind of busted those fractures wide open. The amount of need that was out there was far greater than our community had the ability to handle."
Gilliland-Burbank acknowledges that there is some pushback about making resources easier to access.
"Well, if somebody really needs help, they're willing to put in the work to get it, yes, they are," Gilliland-Burbank said. "As far as I am concerned, if they're standing in front of me telling me their story, they've already done the work to get the help that they needed. To send them around to every organization or agency in town and not do what we can to make that an easier process is really a disservice."
Needs sometimes happen through no fault of the person, especially in the midst of a pandemic.
"If you're a single mom and you're doing everything you can to put food on the table and you're like, I'm just $200 short for rent," Gilliland-Burbank said. "I can't help the fact that I didn't get the number of hours this week that I got for the last three weeks. Our unemployment system was just a mess. There were people that I'd talked to, they'd tell me that they'd called unemployment 800 times in a week and never spoke to an actual human."
If you'd like to help, contact Gilliland-Burbank at the United Way at (620) 669-9329.