Chicago gas prices impacting community groups, social service agencies

Monday, June 6, 2022
Gas prices impacting community groups, social service agencies
The high cost of gas is affecting Chicago's community groups and social service agencies' ability to effectively serve the city's most vulnerable.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- When police tape goes up, Pastor Donovan Price isn't far behind, ready to assist victims of gun violence and their families. He's the founder of Solutions and Resources.

"I need to always be prepared. I need to always be able to jump in the car and get there as soon as possible to help people and do what I do," Price said.

The high cost of gas is impacting his ability to serve his community.

"The gas prices now play a factor in how much help I can give and who I can help," Price said.

With climbing gas prices, many community organizations are being forced to make some difficult choices. Leone Jose Bicchieri heads Working Family Solidarity, a small nonprofit that works on the West, Southwest and South Sides of Chicago.

"We had been set to hire for another organizing position. About a month ago was our original target date and partly because of the high cost of gasoline we decided to wait," Bicherri said.

Brave Space Alliance is struggling to find volunteer delivery drivers for their community pantry.

"A lot of them are unfortunately saying we can't volunteer anymore because gas is just so expensive," COO Stephanie Skora.

She said now the LGBTQ+ center is hiring contract drivers to make up for the volunteers they have lost.

"We're trying our very best to make sure it doesn't impact the service. We are trying to make sure people who come to rely on Brave Space Alliance for their groceries deliveries are still being able to be served by the program, but some weeks it means we make fewer deliveries," Skora said.

Pastor Price's gas tank is running low. But he said he's relying on his faith to keep him going.

"God will make a way. We need a miracle," Price said.