United Way offering new COVID-19 relief program for Pine Belt residents


HATTIESBURG, Miss (WHPMTV)- – United Way of Southeast Mississippi launches a new relief program to help communities in Forrest, Lamar, Marion and Perry Counties that are financially struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is fully funded through corporate and individual donations to assist those behind on rent and utility bills (power, water, and natural gas) that are past due at the time of application.

To be eligible applicants are required to show proof of income loss due to COVID-19, such as employer notification or unemployment documentation. Applicants are also asked to show proof that rent or utility bulls are past due.

“This is one of the most difficult times our society has ever faced and people are experiencing incredible loss across the board, including financially. We knew early on this pandemic would affect households on a deep economic level so we knew we had to do something to help our communities,” said UWSEMS CEO/President Tracie Fowler. “We are grateful to have help from our partner agency Christian Services, who is screening applications and distributing the rental and utility payments. We are also so appreciative of the generous donations that have made this program possible. It is truly a labor of love and unity.”

Applicants should wait for five to seven business days for applications to be processed. Funds will be paid directly to landlords or utility companies.

Residents needing to apply for assistance or make a donation can visit this website: https://www.unitedwaysems.org/coronavirus

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