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While it is rare that we speak of economic events as disasters, I often find myself talking about my hometown of Wilmington, OH as if it has been hit by a hurricane. In May of 2008, DHL Express announced that it would be closing its U.S. air freight hub in Wilmington, and since then, this small Ohio community has been facing an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions.
Last year, when applying for this same grant, we only had estimates of the challenges that would arise from this crisis. Today, we are feeling it in full force. In just the past two months, the unemployment rate in Clinton County has nearly doubled from 10% to over 19%. Unemployment and severance benefits have run out for many, at the same time that state and federal cutbacks of social service programs have made it more difficult for families to find support burdening these difficult times. Many who still have the opportunity to work are only able to receive part-time hours, or are taking furlough days to keep their jobs. The realities of our economic situation are deeply troubling, and the need for assistance …
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