Hope Center requests donations for community support in Pratt

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Reflecting downtown businesses, the front windows and door of the Hope Center at 314 S. Main Street are seeing more and more visitors and residents of Pratt find themselves in dire straits, needing financial aid because of coronavirus quarantine situations in which they cannot work.

If there was ever a time for a community to come together, that time should be now, according to Pratt's Hope Center director Pam Ford. As COVID-19 positive cases surge in the Pratt County, more and more people are finding themselves needing help to pay utility bills and rent.

"We are inundated with people needing financial help at this time," Ford said. "On Friday, I had four new clients sign in and fill out the necessary paperwork so that we can get them some assistance. The whole quarantine situation has really affected people's ability to go to work and make the money they need to make ends meet. For those living paycheck to paycheck, this has come at a very bad time."

The Hope Center, at 314 S. Main Street, is a coordination hub for more than 70 resources agencies and 14 churches in the area. Those needing assistance may call (620) 933-2166.

"We are not turning anyone away," Ford said. "But we are letting the public know that we need financial donations at this time so that we can continue to support those among us who are really struggling right now. We want to be able to help as much as we can."

Ford said that those coming to the Hope Center for assistance seem to be finding themselves in a bind to pay normal rent and utilities expenses, as well as provide food for their families because of loss of work due to quarantine requirements.

"Not everyone can get the rapid COVID-19 test, and so if they are notified they need to quarantine for 14 days or until they can provide a negative test, that sometimes takes 3 or 4 weeks," Ford said. "If there is no cushion there, there are increased food costs as well as loss of income during that time."

Ford said an advisory board at the Hope Center determines if and how much financial help may be provided per request.

"We're doing all we can to help and we could use more support from the community," Ford said.

Those who want to make donations may do so online at the Hope Center website, or they may drop a donation off at the Hope Center office. Financial donations may also be mailed to the Hope Center, P.O. Box 127, Pratt, Kansas 67124.

Donations of non-perishable food items and hygiene products are always accepted as well, but clothing items should be given to the Hope Closet at 123 N. Ninnescah.

According to the Pratt County Health Department November 2, 2020 COVID Update, there were 13 new cases of positive, active cases identified in Pratt County since October 30, 2020. The total number of active cases is 69, with 205 total positives, 136 recovered,  and 12 hospitalizations. There been 1,566 tests requested/given, but there is no official number of individuals currently under quarantine or isolation because of the coronavirus disease.