Caritas of Waco is getting ready to welcome clients back in-person

Posted at 10:41 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 23:41:58-04

The team at Caritas of Waco is getting the final details together to welcome clients back into the building on July 12th.

This after a year over-the-phone services, as well as drive-up grocery needs because of the pandemic.

The staff wants to thank the community for helping them and their clients get to this point.

"I'm excited to see clients in-person, to be able to greet them and it not be through a car window," said Alicia Jallah the Co-Executive Director for Caritas.

Caritas is happy to report that demand for their services have dropped by 66%. Which allows them to accommodate the remaining clients back indoors and in person.

"During COVID we were looking at 300-400 households per day," said Jallah. "Which there's just no way we could have served them coming into the building with that many households needing our help. Now people are going back to work, they're getting the hours that they had before, so they're able to better sustain themselves and provide for their families."

Clients will need to park outside the front of the building along Mary Avenue.

Then they'll make their way inside where they'll be greeted by a client specialist, who helps get them checked-in as they wait for their number to be called.

"When you meet people you never know what their problems are or what they're dealing with at the time. So you just kinda listen to what their problems are and go from there and try to help them as much as you can." said Linda Parker, an interviewer with Caritas.

Parker is one of the people who meets clients and help determine what their need may be.

"You know there's something different between meeting in a car and curbside and being able to sit down together and list out goals and objectives and really come to a place of relationship so we can help them get to a place that they want to be so they can be successful," said Jallah.

Clients who need case management or financial assistance will need to make an appointment,

And those who are in need of food will go home with a pre-loaded cart full of groceries that volunteers have been busy bagging up.

"Volunteering is really important and places like caritas. . . you know they really help out the little guy in times of need," said volunteer Matthew Ho.

Only one member of the household will be allowed inside at a time.

Caritas hopes in the coming months to reopen their food pantry to a grocery style shopping experience.

They will be closed July 8-9 for staff training and preparations.

Client hours will be Monday-Friday from 8:30 – 11:00 AM and 1:00-3:00 PM.

Hours are subject to change due to holidays. The waiting areas will be limited to 25 clients at a time