TUCSON, Ariz. - For more than 40 years Casa De Los Ninos has helped families and children in crisis. Now, COVID has made the crisis deeper for many families and pulled new families into trouble.
Executive Director Susie Huhn says, “We're really seeing families struggle with their own mental health issues and children's mental health. The longer this pandemic goes on, but also those that don't have resources, it's one thing when you've got a pretty solid roof over your head, you've got a good paying job to meet some of the challenges we all face in this pandemic but for families that lack financial resources, it's really a big toll to take.”
Casa De Los Ninos is one of many nonprofits getting Federal COVID assistance grants channeled through the City of Tucson. Casa’s getting $5,000 to add to existing programs to give families emergency help.
Huhn says, “When I say emergency needs I mean things like food, shelter, day to day things. What we get found to the pandemic is such a widening gulf of inequalities from income to digital for families that don't have resources and that's a challenge then to keep those families engaged in services that they need.”
But the strain on Casa De Los Ninos is up too. Susie Huhn says donations are down about ten percent because uncertainty makes people donate less and because so many causes are feeling the strain and crying out for help.
“So there's a lot of competing asks out there for people's money and people are not feeling real confident with the economy, and so people even who do have resources are being more cautious about that so we've seen a significant dip, also in philanthropy.”