SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – High gas prices are making it hard on those who don’t have any extra room in their budgets.
Leaders with a Springfield church said many people are reaching out to them for assistance with gas money.
“We have a lot of individuals who are living in their cars that use gas to be able to keep warm at night, to be able to get to different appointments, also to keep moving so that they’re less likely to get a trespassing charge or to have their vehicle towed,” said Pastor at The Connecting Grounds Church, Christie Love.
Love said that’s why they are asking the community to donate gas gift cards.
“We’ve seen some that have been driving through that have just gotten stuck because they didn’t have enough money to make it home,” said Love.
Church leaders said the high prices are especially impacting parents with kids in the foster care system who are having to cancel visits because they can’t afford gas.
“We have about 16 families we’re working with every single week at the Family Connection Program,” said Holly Madden, Family Connection Director at The Connecting Grounds Church. “We do visits every day after school, so Monday through Friday. In the last three weeks, we’ve had 11 visits canceled because of transportation issues.”
Madden said it’s critical that families make it to these visits.
“If you can imagine a parent who is doing everything to try to break these barriers, and to try to get their children home, sometimes they just need a little bit of a break,” said Madden. “They just need something to say like we see you, we value the work that you’re doing.”
Rebecca Howell is a mom who has kids in the foster care system.
She lives in Forsyth due to not being able to find affordable housing quickly in Springfield.
The long commute back and forth to Springfield has caused her to cancel visits to see her kids because she can’t afford gas.
“Making all my visits and everything shows that I want my kids back,” said Howell. “With having to come to Springfield either two times a week or more, especially with gas prices how they are, it’s really difficult. I don’t like missing visits with my kids, and I know they don’t like not being able to see mom.”
Gas gift cards can be dropped off at the church’s Outreach Center located at 3000 W. Chesnut Expressway on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. You can also mail them to 4341 W. Chesnut Expressway, Springfield, MO, 65802. The church is suggesting a $25 amount and would like to receive at least 50 gift cards this week.