Salvation Army Struggles With Increasing Demand
And in Sandusky in northern Ohio, the Salvation Army is closing its thrift store, putting six people out of work.
Malcolm Campbell, 53, said he depends on the Salvation Army for its $1.99 jeans and other inexpensive items.
"I don't spend high-dollar money on clothing," he said outside a thrift store near downtown Columbus. "If this weren't here, I guess I'd have to shop at Wal-Mart or Kmart."
Desiderio said more layoffs to the Las Vegas staff and cutbacks to a program that trains the homeless to work in restaurant kitchens are possible.
Las Vegas volunteers collected $670,000 during the holiday kettle campaign, up slightly from 2007. But program funding from other sources, such as the United Way and the state, have dropped just as casino business has dried up and regional unemployment has risen, Desiderio said.
"We're falling behind. And it's not just us," he said, referring to other nonprofit organizations. "We're all facing these kinds of things."
A report from Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy in December found that 93 percent of nonprofit organization fundraisers around the nation believed the recession was causing people to make fewer charitable donations.
Salvation Army organizations in South Carolina and Illinois have responded to higher demand for services and dwindling resources by working more closely with other local agencies, Temme said.
In Elgin, Ill., where the Salvation Army ran out of food at its pantry in November, officials organized a fair in January with about two dozen other social service organizations where those in need could arrange for health care, legal assistance and other services in one stop.
"You never want to turn people away," Temme said. "And if we can't help them, we will try to find someone who can."