Lake Area United Way grants $500,000 to Salvation Army Lake County for COVID-19 relief

Contributed By:The 411 News

Supporting individuals and heads of household who have lost jobs or had work hours reduced

Lake Area United Way has granted the Salvation Army Lake County $500,000 for continuing COVID-19 relief.

The funds will be used to pay for rent/mortgage, utility, and food assistance for those affected by the pandemic. A portion of the funds will also be used to hire more staff that will allow the organization to better and more quickly serve the continued influx of clients seeking assistance.

Since the start of the pandemic the Salvation Army has seen a 500% increase in food assistance requests alone.

“Lake Area United Way is proud to be able to work with organizations like the Salvation Army to help our community get through this pandemic. Now that we are in the heart of winter and the temperatures have been below zero, it’s more important than ever that we help those hardest hit by the pandemic stay in their homes and keep the heat on,” said Lake Area United Way President & CEO Lisa Daugherty.

“Thanks to grant funding from Lake Area United Way in July 2020, The Salvation Army Lake County and its three Community Centers have provided first-time emergency services to 1,236 households directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to 1,140 households who have required repeated assistance during that timeframe. Five-thousand individuals received food from our food pantries,” said Captain Brian Clark.

“Even as the COVID-19 vaccines are beginning to be distributed, Lake County is still many months away from this having a positive impact on the economy and employment. Those having lost jobs or having work hours reduced will likely continue to struggle to support their families. Many others will now have exhausted their savings or unemployment benefits and will need emergency assistance for the first time," Captain Clark said.

Lake Area United Way funding has been able to help the Salvation Army Lake County help clients like Durrell.

Durrell needed assistance with his rent which was 2 months late. He lost his job due to COVID-19 and had no support from family or friends. He was fearful of becoming homeless. The Salvation Army Hammond/Munster office was able to assist him with job leads, utility, and rental assistance. They were also able to talk to Durrell’s landlord about waiving the late fees so he could stay in his home.

"The Salvation Army Lake County is committed to serving clients who continue to struggle, while receiving new clients who have now found themselves unable to pay rent and utilities bills, and feed their families. This new grant will allow us to continue serving more families in need here in Lake County,” added Captain Clark.

Story Posted:02/16/2021

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