FRESNO, California (KSEE) – A Fresno non-profit organization, Break the Barriers, helps people of all abilities, ethnicities, and ages and has been doing so since 1984. Now, they’re hurting financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of them are dealing with PTSD and having to be cooped up at home is not something that benefits that and we just recently found out this morning that doctors are posting that there’s more suicide deaths in the last four weeks than the whole year combined,” said Tyler Hergenrader, the veterans director for Break the Barriers.
The pandemic closed down the facility to their participants for nearly three months. It was able to open June 1st after being recognized as an essential business.
United States Navy veteran, Larry Rowe, says there’s a lot of joy and veterans get so much help.
“It’s just really hard because I don’t want to cry, these guys are fantastic,” Rowe said
At one point, the program aimed at helping out veterans and was serving 600 veterans per month. Now that number is down to just 50.
“We’re all about people and they’re family to us and we miss the faces, we want to see your faces and we want to see that you’re doing okay,” said Hergenrader.
CEO, Jared Hergenrader is calling on the community for help, even if it’s just by word of mouth.
“So, if you can get out there and spread the word that non-profits like Break the Barriers, need your help more than ever with this pandemic, we would much appreciate it,” he said.