One Dallas neighborhood has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus crisis.
Jubilee Park in southeast Dallas already faces high unemployment and now the number is steadily rising.
Doors to the neighborhood community center are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the work by staff members and volunteers has not slowed. In fact, it’s more important than ever.
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“We’ve seen a huge spike in need,” said Ben Leal, CEO & President of Jubilee Park & Community Center.
The non-profit serves a neighborhood of about 5500 people and faced big challenges before the coronavirus pandemic. Almost half of the neighborhood lives below the federal poverty line.
On Wednesday staffers loaded 30lb boxes of food into the cars of senior citizens who’ve been confined at home with limited access to food or funds.
“The average income for a senior in our neighborhood is $752 dollars a month,” said Leal. “So for us providing meals, medical equipment, transportation services that allows them to have some extra change in their pocket to get the resources they need for their family.”
Like everyone else the organization is having to adapt.
With their after-school programs suspended, they’re now printing DISD’s weekly lesson plans for every grade & making them available for pick-up outside their doors, knowing most of the kids in their neighborhood do not have access to the internet and online classes. Their tutors are now calling students to help with classwork over the phone.
The organization is also moving resources around to make more funds available to help meet the growing demand of people needing assistance with their rent and utility bills.
They’ve also partnered with ride-sharing service Uber to provide free rides to people for job interviews, or trips to the doctor, grocery store or pharmacy. Riders must register at least 24 hours in advance.
Leal said the needs are changing daily and whatever comes in the future they will work to adjust.
“What Jubilee really is – we are the backbone of this community,” said Leal. “We owe it to our residents to serve them as much as we can.”
Jubilee Park & Community Center said their greatest need is food and monetary donations.
To donate or learn more about the services they provide, click here.