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CARES Act Funding Is Available Now Through End of Year on the Treasure Coast

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As we all wait to see what the next round of stimulus talks brings, it’s important to know that millions of dollars are here and available now on the Treasure Coast, through the CARES Act which was passed in March.

Each county is doing it a little differently, but our Treasure Coast counties all reached out to the United Way to help direct it to where it is most needed and effective.

C: Good Morning – Your United Way.

We started with President and CEO...

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Carol Houwaart-Diez, President and CEO of the United Way of Martin County

CHD: Carol Houwaart-Diez, United Way of Martin County. Basically, individuals and families in our community that have lost income due to the coronavirus, they’re eligible to receive assistance with rent mortgage and utilities payments if they are behind in payments.

Residents can receive up to $5,000 in assistance which is paid directly to landlords, and mortgage and utility companies.

CHD: We know that there’s a population that we call the ALICE population which is Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed individuals who are people in our community that are working hard but they live paycheck to paycheck. So when something like this happens – a pandemic – that not only hits our community but is hitting our nation, it is really hard for them to make these types of payments, and once you get behind it’s so hard to catch up.

The money is available until the end of the year, and the application process takes some time, so she says to act now. Further north in St. Lucie and Indian River Counties, they can definitely connect you to the right place if you are seeking this type of assistance. But they are using their CARE dollars instead to support the needs of nonprofits so they can continue to serve the growing needs of the community. Here’s…

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Jessica Parrish, President and CEO of the United Way of St. Lucie County

JP: Jessica Parrish, President and CEO for United Way of St Lucie County. So the CARES Funding that the United Way of St Lucie County is administering is solely for assistance to other nonprofits and faith-based organizations with expenses that they’ve incurred due to COVID.

Things not planned or budgeted for, like PPE for the staff, technology for tele-meetings and distance learning.

JP: Yep, yep. So, we will cover any expenses that the nonprofit or the faith-based organization incurred beginning in March all the way through December 31. We will cover everything during that time frame. So, it could essentially make or break some of the smaller nonprofits in the community. They would not be able to operate if they didn’t have these things in place, so this is a way to keep our nonprofits and faith-based organizations functioning during this pandemic.

Indian River is also supporting nonprofits with PPE and safety needs as well as technology to keep functioning.

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United Way of IRC
Michael Kint, CEO of the United Way of Indian River County

MK: Hello, this is Mike.

Michael Kint is the CEO at the United Way of Indian River County.

MK: Just like the schools having to go to distance learning so have a lot of nonprofits that work with boys and girls. We’re able to provide dollars to help them enhance and upgrade their technologies so they can do that distance learning and tele-working.

Another big focus in Indian River is mental health, which also has relied on technology to continue to provide services.

MK: Tele-psychiatry! I have talked to a couple of agencies that have had to add a psychiatrist or counselor because the tele-psychiatry has worked very effectively. And they needed more help so those are dollars that have been available too.

So, while we await the next round, we can find relief now. And a little bit of hope in that.

CHD: That’s the one thing throughout this I think everyone has to remember: there’s always hope.

Here are links for each county’s United Way so you or someone you know in need can learn more and apply for help.

https://www.unitedwaymartin.org/cares

https://www.unitedwayslc.org/cares

https://unitedwayirc.org/responsefund