Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today announced Lincoln is receiving more than $4 million in federal CARES Act funds to help those impacted by COVID-19 with food, housing and utility assistance. The City has been awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $1,145,912 and two Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) totaling $2,877,921.
The Lincoln Food Bank will receive $450,000 to purchase food. About $906,000 will provide eligible individuals with funds for rent, mortgage and utility payments, and $100,000 of that is designated for childcare workers. About $2.7 million will be used to provide assistance to families experiencing homelessness. The $360,000 in the first round of ESG funds will go to Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach (MTKO), which was selected through an RFP process. The grant breakdown follows:
|Fund||Food Bank||Rent, mortgage, utilities||Homeless services||Total|
|ESG (round one)||-||$197,024||$360,000||$557,024|
|ESG (round two)||-||$13,266 (est)||$2,307,631 (est)||$2,320,897|
In addition to the federal grant funds, the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders County (Community Action) has an additional $350,000 available for rent and utility assistance over the next two years. The Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF) is applying for state funding that would also go into the program.
The City Urban Development Department is partnering with the UNL Center on Children, Families and the Law (CCFL) and LCF to administer the funds. To apply, residents may contact one of seven local agencies: Community Action; MTKO; CenterPointe, Inc.; People's City Mission; People's City Mission Help Center; CEDARS Youth Services (age 24 and under); and the HUB Central Access Point for Young Adults (age 24 and under). The agencies are linked through CCFL, so applicants only need to contact one agency. Checks will be issued by LCF.
"For individuals and families already struggling with basic needs, the pandemic has exacerbated the situation," said Mayor Gaylor Baird. "Others are experiencing hardships for the first time. These funds will help many in our community to feed their families, to stay in their homes and to find permanent housing. With additional unemployment payments ending as soon as next week for some people, the grants also provide hope, and help our entire community recover. Thank you to the many agencies involved in getting this vital assistance to those who need it the most."
To qualify for assistance, the financial need must be related to the impact of COVID-19, such as job loss, reduced work hours, or lost income to stay home while sick, to care for a sick loved one, or to care for children due to loss of childcare. The income qualifications are based on current earnings and are at or below 80 percent of median income.
Checks will be sent weekly directly to landlords, mortgage holders and utility companies and can be used to pay for past due payments. Funding is available for three to six months depending on income.
More information is available at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov at the "Resident Resources" page.