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RCS lottery system better than first come, first served

By Tori Shaw
Published On: Dec 05 2012 12:14:07 PM CST

It's an early start to ask for assistance as 10 people wait outside the Religious Community Services Building at 7:30 AM.  The doors open at 7:57, and nearly 30 people went inside.  Including Philip Scott, a single father of three, who was laid off 4 months ago.

"Right now, my lights are in the process of being shut off, and if I can get the assistance I need that would help," said Scott.

If you haven't received help in the past year from RCS, you are eligible.  Your name is placed in a box to be drawn.  At that moment, all Scott could do was pray.

"If I can get assistance today, that will at least give me a little peace.  At least, I have a little hope.  I always keep hope," said Scott.

Before the lottery system, the assistance process was on a first come, first served basis.  The first five people eligible got help.  The need was so great that people were spending the night on the porch outside to be the first in line.

"This is my third time coming down here trying to get assistance in the past two months.  The first time I came down here at three in the morning, and I stayed out here all night long," said Scott.

The third time is the charm as Scott's name was drawn to receive 150 dollars towards his utility bill.

"As long as you keep trying, keep your best foot forward and keep your head high.  Things will happen," said Scott.

For the other 22 people not chosen, they are encouraged to return next week if they still need assistance.


If you are needing utility assistance, you will need your most recent utility bill and the one previous to that.

If you are needing renter's assistance, you will need a statement signed by your landlord.