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LCCAA, United Way’s UCAN partner to assist Seniors with Water Bills

Nov. 4, 2020: The risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. Older adults are advised to take additional precautions with social distancing and maintaining good handwashing and hygiene practices. Lorain County Community Action and the United Way of Greater Lorain County are partnering to assist low-income seniors to maintain the water service they need to stay safe.

Many of Lorain County’s 17,419 low-income seniors are struggling to pay their bills, said LCCAA President and CEO Jackie Boehnlein.  “Low-income seniors tend to restrict their water usage to keep their bills low,” she said. “Many, especially those on fixed incomes, are getting slammed with higher expenses as they shelter at home. Through no fault of their own, many are behind on their water and sewer bills.”

Help began November 9 with LCCAA directing $100,000 of Ohio’s recently announced Home Relief Grant to United Way’s United Community Assistance Network (UCAN), which was designed specifically to assist seniors with past due water and sewer charges. The assistance network was established in 2014 and serves all ZIP codes in Lorain County.

“Many times our seniors do not reach out for help because they are not sure who they can trust,” Boehnlein said. “All of the applications taken through the UCANAPPLY.ORG site go directly through United Way.”

Seniors aged 65 and older living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible for this assistance. “We expect to take somewhere between 150 to 200 applications from seniors all over the county before this funding expires on December 30,” said Ryan Aroney, United Way President and CEO. “This funding allows us to help with any water or sewer charges incurred since April 1 without a cap on the amount of assistance.”

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be behind on payments or be without water service,
  • Must live at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($25,520 for a family of one and $34,480 for a family of two in 2020),
  • Must have been directly affected by COVID-19 or be a member of a population especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

UCAN partners include:

·         Catholic Charities

·         Salvation Army Lorain

·         Salvation Army Elyria

·         Lorain County Office on Aging

·         Neighborhood Alliance

·         North Ridgeville Community Care

·         Community Resource Services of Avon/Avon Lake

·         Oberlin Community Services

 

Seniors are encouraged to let a UCAN partner know they have past due balances or to apply starting November 9 at UCANAPPLY.ORG. Additional information can be found at www.lccaa.net. Look for Home Relief Grant under the Programs menu.

 

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2020 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/10/20 21:42:12 -0800.

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