CARES Funding at LCCAA
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) became law on March 27, 2020. CARES included $1.1 billion in funding for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) LCCAA is a CSBG grantee and received $715,000 in CARES funding to provide help for Lorain County residents living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line.
The funding must be used to address community needs related to COVID-19. LCCAA has been approved to use the funding to help local residents with basic needs such as eviction prevention, assistance with water bills, emergency food, and winter coats for children. Funding will also be used to purchase equipment and supplies necessary to maintain services following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.
For more information on the CARES Act, visit: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares.
Eviction Avoidance - Beginning August 10
LCCAA will help approximately 100 residents who have fallen behind on their rent during the crisis. LCCAA is partnering with the Lorain County Urban League (LCUL) for this program. LCUL will mediate between tenants and landlords making sure tenants’ legal rights are protected. Rent assistance may be part of the process.
To be eligible for the Eviction Avoidance Program, residents must have been current on their rent as of March 1, 2020. The resident must have a written lease and be able to document a recent loss in income. Funds are being distributed proportionally among all Lorain County ZIP codes.
Emergency Food Assistance
In 2013, LCCAA began establishing partnerships to help local food pantries during the rush of the winter holiday season. The list of partners has since grown to 35 pantries. To further assist these partners, CSBG CARES funding will now become year long.
LCCAA is collaborating with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Ohio to administer the funds for partners. Partners will receive a letter and Memorandum of Understanding to sign and return in keeping with LCCAA’s regular partnership process. For a list of partners and more information on this long-standing program, please click here.
LCCAA will partner with Our F.A.M.I.L.Y to create a community garden on Huron Street in Elyria next spring on property previously donated to LCCAA. The Agency owns five parcels near the intersection of Gateway Boulevard and West River Road. The garden will allow for 20 plots to be tended and harvested by neighborhood families with room for expansion.
Community gardens increase access to fresh foods and offer better food security in a neighborhood. The garden will provide physical activity and improve mental health through garden maintenance activities and education to the neighborhood residents.
Our F.A.M.I.L.Y. has extensive experience maintaining community gardens. Preparation will begin soon, but plots will not be assigned until next spring.
LCCAA has partnered with Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority for ten years to distribute new winter coats to children residing in public housing in Lorain County. This year, the CARES funding will allow us to expand the program in response to anticipated greater need due to loss of income and increased unemployment.
Operation Warm will distribute coats to children ages 0 to 18 in October and November to residents of the following complexes:
- Wilkes Villa, Elyria
- Levitt Homes, Lorain
- Timber Lake, Avon
Additionally, coats are typically distributed to all LCCAA Head Start students. This year, the additional funding will allow distribution to include home-based Head Start students.
A portion of the CARES funding will be used to purchase tablets and/or laptop computers as well as internet “hot spots” for use in CSBG-funded programs. LCCAA Getting Ahead and Financial Literacy classes have moved online due to the COVID-19 crisis. The technology will allow those who do not have technology of their own to participate.