MINT HILL, NC – Servant’s Heart is thrilled to have received a $175K grant from Mecklenburg County to assist local families coping with the negative economic effects of COVID-19.
The opportunity to apply for these funds made available through Mecklenburg County CARES Act COVID RELIEF Fund was brought to Servant’s Heart Founder and Executive Director Kim Rhodarmer’s attention by Mayor Brad Simmons and Town Manager Brian Welch.
It is the single largest grant Rhodarmer has experienced in her career. In addition to other grant money Servant’s Heart has received this year, 2020 has been a record-breaking year for the local assistance program in terms of the financial assistance they are able to offer the community.
The funds available through this grant are specifically marked for people in the Mint Hill community who have been negatively impacted economically by COVID-19. Individuals who have a 28227 zip code or families with children who attend Mint Hill schools can apply for these funds to help with rent, mortgage, electric bills and natural gas bills.
“For months, people have been protected from evictions and utility disconnections. Deferred payments have escalated to levels that are not affordable for many people with pre-COVID income. This grant is a lifesaver. It will keep families from becoming homeless and has the potential to aid in financial recovery as people resume previous employment or find new jobs,” says Rhodarmer. “If during COVID-19 they have fallen behind because of a reduction in hours/wages, or they lost their job and the amount of money they received from unemployment and the CARES act did not cover their expenses, or if they simply have not received their unemployment checks yet or they were denied unemployment, then Servant’s Heart can review their information to determine if they qualify for BillPay Assistance.”
Servant’s Heart hopes to utilize these funds in a way that helps people get over a financial hump and return to work. As such, these funds can also be used to temporarily cover childcare expenses for people returning to work who currently lack the financial means to pay for childcare due to a period of unemployment. They can also be used to cover car repairs necessary for people to return to work.
The extended economic impact of COVID-19 has been devastating on families living paycheck to paycheck who may now find themselves months behind on multiple bills with little relief in sight. “A lot of people have not been able to make their mortgage, rent, or utility payments since April or May,” says Rhodarmer. “Right now, we’re seeing clients who are two and three months behind on any one of these bills. With this money, we’re able to help most of these folks become current with these past due bills. We’re helping people with double and triple the amount of money we’ve been able to help them with historically.”
Anyone in the community in need of BillPay Assistance should contact Rochelle Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because these are COVID-19 relief funds, clients are required to provide documentation to prove that COVID-19 impacted the deficit they are experiencing. Examples are pay stubs showing evidence of reduced hours or a termination letter from their employer. Williams will reply via email with the information clients must secure prior to an interview.
“I feel like this money is going to go really fast,” says Rhodarmer. “We want people to let us know they need help sooner rather than later because these funds will be exhausted by the end of December if not earlier.”