Monday September 28, 2020

Cabarrus offers support to nonprofits serving COVID needs

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed added stress on local nonprofits that help residents who’ve suffered economic hardship, instability and safety concerns. Cabarrus County is offering support to those organizations through a Nonprofit Resiliency Grant.

To qualify, an organization must:

  • Have a 501(c) 3 nonprofit designation
  • Have a Cabarrus County location
  • Be current on all property taxes (if applicable)
  • Not be debarred from participation in Federal, State or Local government contracts
  • Purchase from local vendors as much as possible
  • Operate in Cabarrus County for at least three months prior to the application date

Examples of eligible services include, but are not limited to, homelessness, mental health, food assistance, utility/rental assistance, childcare, health and wellness, technology and internet connectivity, and communications and outreach materials related to COVID-19.

“The Board of Commissioners understands the negative impact this pandemic has had on our nonprofits and the populations they serve,” said Board Chair Steve Morris. “We hope the Nonprofit Resiliency Grants can help support the good work that is going on in our county.”

The local economic impact of COVID-19

In April, the Cabarrus County unemployment rate reached an all-time high of more than 12%. Earlier this month, The Cabarrus Convention and Visitors Bureau released a report indicating tourism is responsible for more than 4,600 local jobs and $500 million in visitor spending. Since the pandemic began, 1,400 hotel jobs have been eliminated.

“We’re seeing individuals and families coming in that have never had to ask for services before,” said Cabarrus County Human Services Director Karen Calhoun, who serves as a member of the grant administration team. “That is a tell-tale sign of the economic instability local families are experiencing.”

Since March, local food pantries have seen a 40% increase for requests. In that same time, Human Services added 2,211 new food assistance cases and 1,628 Medicaid assistance cases.

The County estimates 500 local households qualified for eviction in recent months. While a moratorium on evictions is currently in place, new requests for housing assistance rose 52% between March and August.

Assistance interventions for food insecurity, healthcare and childcare can help families prepare for housing payback schedules once the moratorium lifts.

Calhoun says the County wants the grant to help stabilize families through economic support and safety measures.

“Unfortunately, the County can’t fill all the gaps,” said Calhoun. “We rely heavily on our local nonprofit networks to stand in the gap. They fulfill needs and provide life-sustaining support to some of most vulnerable populations. It’s another way our community can move forward.”

The deadline to apply is October 12, 2020 at 5 p.m. Full details and the online application are available at https://cabarruscounty.us/resources/nonprofit-resiliency-grant. For more information, email nonprofitgrants@cabarruscounty.us or call 704-920-2902.

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