Building Secured For Laid-Off Workers Center

By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email
By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

An organization offering a helping hand to laid-off workers has a new headquarters.

The United Way has been looking for a place to use as a one stop center and now Via Christi Senior Services is donating its building in the West River Plaza at 2622 W. Central.

It's a huge step toward helping laid off workers in need. With thousands of workers laid off from aviation companies and several other businesses across Wichita, the need for help is great and growing fast.

Just ask William Bonnell who's been looking for a job since January.

"Everybody I've turned in an application to, I haven't got a call back as of yet," he said Thursday.

While some centers help people find new jobs, this new center will help people get through the tough times during the job search.

With the donated space, the United Way can open the center by June. It says it'll be just in time.

"I think we're in a serious situation," explains United Way of the Plains President Pat Hanrahan.

It will be set up just like the laid-off workers center opened after the September 11th economic downturn.

Families can get set up on payment plans for utility bills, get money for house or rent payments, groceries through the food warehouse and even job training.

The United Way is especially excited about this new site because of it's location in Central Wichita and along a bus route. Plus, since it was donated, all money collected by the United Way can go directly to workers and their families.

Now the group just hopes it can gather enough resources to help the record number of people they expect to see come in.

"We simply plan to deal with the worst situation we can think about and hope for the best," Hanrahan says. "But we do have plans we're putting in place."

The United Way will give out more information about how to apply for help and who is qualified as the center gets closer to opening.

People who would like to donate can make checks payable to "United Way Laid-Off Workers Fund" and mail them to: United Way Laid-Off Workers Fund, 245 N. Water, Wichita, KS 67202.


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