DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A local nonprofit is helping families pay bills during the pandemic.
The group, Neighborhoods Over Politics, is urging families that need help to apply for grant money.
Neighborhoods Over Politics, NOP, is a training and advocacy group in Montgomery County. One of their missions has always been neighborhood sustainability and fighting evictions.
With this mini-grant, they’re going to help families with rent, mortgage, and cell phone assistance.
When COVID-19 hit, Jamica Garrison with NOP said they knew the need for assistance would go beyond what the federal stimulus package provided. Now, they’re asking families who live in the 45402 or 45417 zip codes whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19 to apply for their assistance.
“We’ll be looking at what they previously made and we’ll be looking at their current bills and where they’re behind,” said Garrison. “The idea is to be able to give the same amount every month for three months and so everybody’s amount may vary.”
NOP board member and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality attorney, Debra Lavey, said they’re worried about an avalanche of evictions. She said the eviction rate in the city of Dayton was already double the national average before COVID-19.
“We see that the eviction rates are higher among African-American women, so evictions are disproportionately affecting women of color,” said Lavey. “We knew that prior to the pandemic, and the pandemic is showing that’s consistent. Even the rates are higher than they were prior to the pandemic.”
Lavey said they want to help people before they accrue late fees or eviction notices.
But they said it’s not just financial relief. They want to set these families up for a successful financial future. So NOP is is collaborating with organizations to provide free programs to applicants and or families selected.
- GreenPath will offer a free budgeting session to ALL applicants;
- Wright-Patt Credit Union will offer a five-week financial wellness program for all selected families;
- Sunlight Village will offer a free mental wellness check-in to ALL applicants;
- Kindred Connections Therapy Center will facilitate an eight-week mental wellness program with selected families
“We’re going to help them learn how to budget their money properly, how to invest their money properly, how to save, what to save, what to save for, what to use your savings on,” said NOP Board member, Tiffany Countryman. “And also, we’re going to deal with the mental health piece because just this pandemic alone has affected everyone mentally.”
Right now, Garrison said this is a pilot program that will run for three months, but they’re applying for further funding and would like to see this program last through three years.
The deadline to apply is Monday, July 6, click here for that link.
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