COEUR d'ALENE - Matt Hutchinson has seen it busy at St. Vincent de Paul.
He has seen the people line up at the HELP Center. He has seen the folks fill the warming shelter in Post Falls. He has seen the packed men's and women's shelters.
But the last two weeks have been unlike any others.
"I've never seen it like this before," St. Vincent's social services director said Wednesday.
An estimated 100 people a day are turning to the HELP Center on Harrison Avenue for assistance with everything from rent to utilities to gas, food, clothing and advice on legal matters.
Some are just coming in from the cold to warm up and, hopefully, get a meal.
They are the unemployed, the homeless and the low-income who just can't keep up with expenses and have nowhere to go.
"You name it," Hutchinson said.
Such is demand that St. Vincent's is asking for the public's help.
Soup, chili, spaghetti, canned or homemade, is needed and would be appreciated to help feed those struggling to survive. Snacks are also needed during these cold months.
St. Vincent's men's and women's shelters are full and its warming center in Post Falls is seeing 15-20 people each night the temperatures drops to 25 degrees or lower.
Hutchinson said the climate, unemployment, low-paying jobs and high rent are forcing more people to seek help.
The HELP Center is providing about 30 meals a day.
"Last month is when it really started to kick in," he said.
Donations can be dropped off at the HELP Center, 201 E. Harrison Ave., 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Information: Barb, 416-4716