Pisgah Legal Services (PLS), a nonprofit that provides free, civil legal aid in Western North Carolina, recently launched a targeted campaign to reach people recently unemployed due to COVID-19 who may have also lost their health insurance. Anyone who has experienced a qualifying life event in the past 60 days, including job loss, may qualify for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance. Pisgah Legal Services offers free assistance and free information to help understand options for affordable health insurance.
Renters who need rent or utility assistance can apply online at nc211.org/hope. Applicants who cannot access the online application can also call 2-1-1 and speak with a program representative, who will assist the caller through the application on the phone. Callers can reach 2-1-1 Monday-Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The HOPE Program is funded by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant−Coronavirus funds and U.S. Department of Treasury Coronavirus Relief funds, which have been provided to North Carolina. The funds are administered by the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, a division of the Department of Public Safety, and will be distributed through community partner agencies across the state.
Renters can apply for utility assistance, rent assistance or both programs. Rent assistance is paid to the landlord on behalf of the applicant. This includes overdue and future rent payments, for up to six months. At least one month’s rent must be overdue at the time of application.
Utility payments will be made directly to the utility provider for up to six months of past due essential utilities, such as electricity, water, sewer/wastewater, natural gas and propane. For more information about the HOPE Program, visit nc211.org/hope.
Job Retention Grant: If your business or non-profit organization experienced interruption due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the new Job Retention Grant (JRG) Program may be able to offer assistance.
Non-profit assistance and CARES Act: Find help applying for relief funds here, with tips from the Independent Sector, an organization serving nonprofits
Going Forward: Best Practices and Consideration for Nonprofit Re-Engagement: A no-profit guide to help organizations design procedures and plans to return to work and re-engage with the public.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response in North Carolina (NC DHHS). You’ll find the latest information from our state government about assistance, regulations, webinars, and more, including:
NC Unemployment Insurance. Find information about state and federal unemployment benefits, including updates on the expanded benefits through the CARES Act.
Help for NC Small Businesses. Look here for financial support, unemployment insurance information, and tax updates.
COVID-19 Dashboard. Get updates on outbreaks, hospital beds, and breakdowns on infection rates by race and gender.
Resources for Families
NC Remote Learning: Access lessons and activities by age and grade, plus tips for talking with kids about the virus
Wide Open Schools: Schools are closed. Minds are open. Find more resources here from top educational providers, presented by Common Sense Media.
Due to low Census 2020 response rates, Drew Christy, with the Governor’s office shared that our region stands to lose around $17.5M in federal funding for critical services such as schools, roads, and fire departments.
Ranked in % responses in the State (of 100 Counties):
- Henderson County is ranked 26th
- Buncombe County is ranked 36th
- Madison County is ranked 70th
- Transylvania County is ranked 77th
Potential loss in funding per County:
- Henderson (60% response rate) – $5 million
- Buncombe (57% response rate) – $12 million
- Madison (49% response rate) – $100,000-$250,000
- Transylvania (47% response rate) – $100,000-$250,000