Newport News set to use $1.4M for COVID- 19 assistance

Newport News

Newport News, Va. (WAVY) — Coronavirus relief is available for people who live in Newport News.

The city allocated $1.4 million from the CARES Act fund to help those who were impacted by the pandemic.

The city Human Services department will give out the money through the supplemental assistance funding for emergencies or the SAFE program.

The money can be used for things like:

  • food
  • rent
  • mortgage
  • utilities
  • childcare
  • transportation
  • medication

Ginger Blount-Moore, deputy director of Human Services tells 10 On Your Side calls for things like rental assistance have gone up in the city since March.

“We wanted to provide a safety net to residents during a time of so much uncertainty.”

Unlike other assistance programs, the SAFE program is more flexible with no income limit.

“This program has no caps based on household size or income limits… this is not just for low-income or normal standard processes. Our programs that we normally offer have state provisions, and outlines and hierarchy as far as income ratios. This does not carry those same guidelines and process.”

 The funds can be tailored to each client based on their needs.

“It is so beneficial to our residents, we know that this is going to impact to a community that’s already struggling and in need.”

To apply, you must be a Newport News resident and show that you have lost income during the pandemic.

“You can certainly verify with your past due bills that you have, anything from March to present. You could also be working now, but you’ve had a loss of a job doing from March to now.“

Keep in mind, the funds are first- come, first- served.

“It is a one time benefit. So, once you call into the program and you’re approved. Now you can get as many assistance programs as you need because we have seven areas. You can come in one time and get food. You can come back another time and get rent assistance, but you can’t get food twice, you can’t get rent assistance twice.“

The money is available until the end of the year or while the money lasts.

To apply call 757-926-6161.

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