The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has announced that the state’s Community Action Agencies (CAAs) have begun to receive flexible funds that can be used to help low-income individuals and families meet a variety of needs caused by the economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are part of the federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and can, among other allowable uses, help eligible residents facing eviction with unmet rent and utility expenses.
“With the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor’s moratorium on evictions and utility shutoffs is the only thing keeping many families in safe and stable housing,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “This flexible funding will allow our Community Action Agencies to continue to meet a wide array of needs in our communities, including helping families remain in their homes when the moratorium is lifted.”
Community Action Agencies are nonprofit organizations created by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. To be eligible for CSBG-funded services, individuals and families must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
“Community Action Agencies have helped bridge gaps for low wealth residents and communities for 55 years,” said Sharon Goodson, Executive Director of the NC Community Action Association. “They provide comprehensive services like case management, transportation, housing, employment, education, child care, eviction and emergency assistance programs to ensure low wealth residents increase and maintain their economic stability.”
To apply for help, contact your local Community Action Agency. Locally, individuals can call Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action, Inc. in Smithfield at 919-934-2145. For additional information on the CSBG funding or contact information for the 33 Community Action Agencies in North Carolina, visit ncdhhs.gov/csbg-contacts