PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Everything’s more expensive now thanks to high inflation. That’s affecting everyone, especially non-profit groups that are meant to help people in need. President and CEO of the Waterfront Rescue Mission Clay Romano talks to us about how inflation is impacting their mission

Guest: Inflation is really starting to hit home, not only at the organizational level but also at the team member level as well. I mean, just think about all of our team members that come into work at the mission work at our thrift stores. They’re having to deal with the high inflation rates, the high cost of fuel. Across everything is much, much more expensive than it was a year ago, and so everybody is feeling the crunch.

I’ve had several conversations with some of my peer groups here in Pensacola, FL, and it’s nothing specific to Waterfront. Everybody is starting to feel the crunch. You know the families that are suffering and we have to start thinking outside the box and how we can help our team members help our organization move forward and weather this storm.

Anchor: So how do you cope with all that?

Guest: Well, one day at a time, quite frankly, you know we’re doing a lot of things at the organizational level in regards to monitoring our costs, monitoring our expenses, we’re building in lean processes and efficiencies everywhere we can.

Doing things better, faster, and more efficiently is the order of the day.

You know, so we’re looking at all of our different processes from our truck routes to the way that we process donations at each of our seven brick-and-mortar thrift stores to just, you know, our expenditures on a daily and weekly basis.

Guest: Well, hopefully, we don’t have to cut back too much, but we’ve been very successful in just looking at ways to reduce spending when we can. But one of the things that we’ve been working on is the collaborative effort with some of our community partners. When I took over just over a year ago I. I felt like there was this barrier between our sister organizations in Pensacola and so we’re working very diligently to knock down those barriers and collaborate whenever we. Yeah, you know, community health. Northwest Florida has a clinic embedded here in Hermon St, and so just those various community partners. We’re looking to see who’s doing what and how are they doing it, and there are opportunities for us to collaborate and not duplicate services so that they’re buying. Reducing our costs at the organizational level. So if anywhere we can find opportunities to partner with individual organizations here in Pensacola and in mobile, we’re looking to explore those opportunities.

Anchor: Do you feel like you’re being pulled from 2 ends, the increased inflation, but also increasing needs in the community.

Guest: Yes, but honestly waterfront has been here for 73 years and we’ve seen a lot of challenges over the 73 years and what our team of leaders are doing right now is building the foundation for the next 73 years. So we’re seeing a rise or an uptick in guest services.

At our DE Resources center here on Herman St and as well as in mobile.