United Way secures $100,000 grant to help people pay for housing

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 12 January 2021 at 7:42 am

Program targeted to people with income loss due to Covid

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Dean Bellack, right, director of United Way of Orleans County, met Monday morning with staff from Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern and Community Action of Orleans and Genesee to announce a $100,000 grant from Eastman Savings and Loan to United Way of Orleans County. The money will be divided evenly between GOMOC and Community Action to help people with housing needs attributed to Covid-19. With Bellack are, clockwise from left, Lydia Duncan, client advocate from Ministry of Concern; Nyla Gaylord, director of Ministry of Concern; Annette Finch, director of emergency services at Community Action; Michelle Figueroa, emergency services case worker at Community Action; and Jeanette Worsley, housing stability specialist at Community Action.

ALBION – A $100,000 grant from Eastman Savings and Loan is the latest funding to be announced by United Way of Orleans County, through which the money is funneled.

Dean Bellack, executive director of United Way, met with staff from Community Action and Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern on Monday morning to formally announce the grant, which will be divided evenly between the two agencies to help people with rents, past due mortgages and utilities they cannot pay due to Covid. This money must be allocated between now and June.

United Way will get $10,000 of the grant for administrative costs.

Meeting with Bellack from Community Action were Annette Finch, director of Emergency Services; Michelle Figueroa, emergency services case worker; and Jeanette Worsley, housing stability specialist. From Ministry of Concern were director Nyla Gaylord, and client advocate Lydia Duncan.

Worsley and Duncan will run the program, with guidance from Finch and Gaylord, Finch said.

Finch stressed that people who want to apply for help through this program must present proof of their hardship due to Covid, and/or loss of income due to Covid.

Gaylord said she feels there are many people with higher incomes who are suffering because they have never had to ask for help and hesitate to do so.

Appointments to apply for financial aid from this grant must be made by calling Community Action at 589-5605 and asking for Worsley or Figueroa; or Ministry of Concern at 589-9210 and asking for Duncan. Worsley will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Duncan will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Gaylord said Ministry of Concern also has other money available to help people with car payments and insurance.

“Getting this extra grant is frosting on the cake,” she said.

Finch praised Bellack for his insight in making Orleans County more visible to large corporate donors outside the county.