Although positive reports about the economy's improvement are starting to surface, local organizations dedicated to helping the public say they're still seeing a big demand for their services.

The Salvation Army in Tucson is one of them.

Major Edward Markham, corps officer for the organization, says the number of local residents in need continues to illustrate a monetary crisis for many of our community's residents.

"Right now we're seeing about a 40 percent increase over last year ... for the number of people who come to us for [help], whether it be for utilities or food or rent or housing or shelter," Markham said in an interview with Arizona Illustrated.

The Salvation Army is currently working on providing Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and on collecting toys for children. But the group operates every day of the year and offers lesser-known services, such as a homeless shelter.

"It's tough for some families to where you have a hard time paying the rent, you have a hard time paying the utilities and just getting simple meals on the table for the family," Markham adds.

He says the agency depends heavily on volunteers and donations to make its mission possible and he encourages community members who want to assist their neighbors in southern Arizona to get involved.