More people are applying for Medicaid and public assistance in Mesa County and across the state than ever before. Officials say it's another sign of the times.
Applications for Medicaid are up almost six percent in the county and the Department of Human Services says many of the applicants are asking for assistance for the first time.
Bridgit corbin is a single mom and says it's not easy.
"Somehow I manage. It's kind of like a circus you got to juggle," Corbin told 11 News on Friday.
And juggle she does--two kids, three jobs and school. She's always made it on her own but last year she had to apply for Medicaid.
"I needed health insurance, it was the only way I could get it. I needed health insurance for the kids," said Corbin.
She said it wasn't easy to ask for help and it was her last resort.
"You have to swallow your pride and do what you need to."
Corbin is not alone, more and more people are going to the Mesa County Department of Human Services, or DHS, to apply for public assistance.
In the last year, the number of applications in Mesa County has jumped almost six percent and across the state, more than 11 percent.
DHS Spokeswoman Karen Martsolf says it's another indicator of a slowing economy.
"We have a lot of folks who have always been self sufficient who are now finding themselves needing public assistance," Martsolf told 11 News on Friday.
Martsolf says a lot of people have a hard time asking for help but she hopes people come in if they're struggling.
"They're embarrassed, they don't want to do it and they don't see any other option but they need help and that's what we're here for."
Martsolf says despite statewide budget cuts, DHS won't see any and there is enough assistance to go around.
Those are reassuring words for people like Bridgit Corbin who don't know how long they'll need the help.
"I think the economy will change, I hope it does," said Corbin.
She says she'll keep working hard for her daughter.
"She's the reason why I strive as hard everyday and I work as hard as I do."
And work hard to get off of public assistance and get back on her feet.
For more information on how to qualify for public assistance, call the Mesa County Department of Human Services at 970-241-8480 or click on the link below to find information on the state website.