TAMPA, Fla. — Metropolitan Ministries says it will be suspending all requests for coronavirus financial assistance due to "staggering demand."
Metropolitan Ministries will suspend all COVID-19 requests for at least seven days, as the nonprofit catches up on their long list of requests. As of Tuesday night, Metropolitan Ministries has received more than 1,700 requests for financial assistance.
"We’ve been receiving almost 400 [requests] a day, and we only have a handful of staff who are trying to make that happen and volunteers, but we just didn’t have the capacity to respond to the volume of people in that kind of time frame," said Chief Programs Officer Christine Long.
Metropolitan Ministries says it has 36 people handling six times their normal caseloads. 75% of the requests for financial aid are for help paying rent. The staff says it would take about $1.5 million to fulfill the requests for one month.
The nonprofit said 450 of the requests have not yet been accommodated due to the overwhelming demand.
"The amount of people has way outweighed the demand or supply we have, so we have some funding, we’re going through that very quickly." said Long. "We don’t have $1.5 million, so we know that’s going to run out shortly.”
Requests for aid will resume Wednesday, April 15.
The nonprofit will continue their normal work and serve 3,00 meals a day, provide shelter and care for the families across the Tampa Bay area. Metropolitan Ministries is still handing out emergency food boxes three days a week while supplies last on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
"One day at a time, one moment at a time, we have so many people who are in need." said Long. "It’s building that strength, taking the strength from the community which is giving us so much and requesting so much of us to make it happen just day after day, and we’re just committed to doing that. It's just really through the strength of the community, through the strength of god, through personal strength, we’re making it through.”
Those looking to help the nonprofit can click here for more information.