The Cares Act is no longer in effect, and even though many are expected to face difficult times, landlords are allowed to file eviction notices, and many will face homelessness.
For those who need support and guidance, local organizations are willing to do all they can to give individuals and families a sense of stability.
The Regional Inter-Faith Association (RIFA) is a local organization whose mission is to provide aide for spiritually. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff members at RIFA noticed an influx of clients.
“Before the cares act was available, we definitely saw an increase in the number of clients and patrons who were walking through our door, many for the first time ever,” says Gracie Sloan, the Marketing and Events Coordinator for RIFA.
According to Sloan, the cares act provided security for people unable to receive income due to COVID-19. But soon, they expect to see locals coming in for assistance.
“Whether that’s food, whether that’s needing help finding a place to stay, we do expect, especially this time next month, people coming to us who have been evicted and who are unable to pay their rent,” says Sloan.
RIFA’s primary mission is to fight hunger. However, they work closely with other organizations that provide housing.
There is another local nonprofit who works diligently in providing housing for women and children. The Dream Center on North Highland Avenue.
“I think there is a lot of genuine care here,” says Akemilakia Bowen, who is a resident at the Dream Center.
Gail Gustafson, the Executive Director, says there is an increase in applications.
“We have more applications right now than we’ve ever had,” says Gustafson.
Gustafson says that she meets a lot of women who are doing what she describes as couch surfing or living with someone.
“And then the people who they’re living with can no longer afford to have them in the home; it makes a hardship for everyone,” says Gustafson.
As I continued to speak with both Gracie and Gail, they are hoping that more financial resources become available, but until then, both nonprofits can serve as that bridge to help those who are in need.