The Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has awarded $1 million to help those in danger of being evicted or losing their homes through foreclosure as a result of the coronavirus-caused recession in Greater Kansas City, according to the Mid-America Regional Council.
Eviction prevention is one of the three areas the fund will address. It also will support programs to increase COVID-19 testing and other public health efforts supporting vulnerable populations and essential workers, child care and out-of-school time programs, along with broader digital access to support remote learning, economic opportunities and telehealth, according to MARC.
The eviction prevention program will provide resources including legal representation and financial assistance to prevent evictions; advocacy for homeowners focused on loan modification, foreclosure prevention and assistance navigating the foreclosure process, as well as financial assistance to prevent foreclosures; and case management, including help finding new housing.
Renters facing eviction may receive legal assistance to halt the eviction and funds to help pay past-due rent, according to a spokesman. Homeowners facing foreclosure may receive assistance to restructure their loans. In some counties, there are also funds available to help pay utility bills.
Individuals needing assistance are asked to call 211, United Way of Greater Kansas City’s help and information line, or visit the website at https://uwgkc.myresourcedirectory.com. They will be directed to the appropriate social service agency for help. In some cases, the call specialist can help with necessary forms while on the call.
During the federal eviction moratorium in effect until Dec. 31, 2020, those facing eviction also need to file a declaration to avoid being evicted for non-payment of rent but may still seek help from 211.
“Having a lawyer meant the difference between me and my kids being housed or being on the streets when our landlord sued us,” said a client of Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom. “Me and my husband have health problems that make the coronavirus really dangerous to us. Having to go to a homeless shelter or taking our family of seven to another family’s home would have been life threatening.”
The goal of this effort is not only to prevent loss of housing, but to preserve tenants’ and homeowners’ qualifications for housing opportunities in the future, according to a spokesman.
“With these funds and services in place, the region is positioned to help more people avoid homelessness — and its subsequent health consequences — during this pandemic,” said Jim MacDonald, chief community impact officer at United Way of Greater Kansas City. “It’s never been more important for our community to come together to help each other out.”
The eviction prevention effort is coordinated by United Way of Greater Kansas City and supports an overlapping set of initiatives to provide legal and social services. Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom, Kansas Legal Services, Legal Aid of Western Missouri and the legal clinic at the UMKC School of Law will provide legal services, and more than a dozen social services agencies will provide direct service to clients in the metro area.
The Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund award will supplement other public and private funds earmarked for regional housing stability efforts. Additional funds from Clay, Jackson, Johnson and Wyandotte counties, including CARES Act funding, total $7.7 million ($1 million in Clay County, $1.5 million in Jackson County, $3.3 million in Johnson County, $1.9 million in Wyandotte County).
The Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund would not be possible without the contributions of many foundations, corporations and individuals that have invested over $17 million in response to the urgent needs of area residents, a spokesman stated.
“Many of our community’s most vulnerable populations are facing severe rent burdens and are at risk of experiencing homelessness due to COVID-19,” said Denise St. Omer, vice president of grantmaking and inclusion initiatives at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. “But we’re encouraged by the generosity and collaboration from our partners who are doing everything they can to help those in need.”
The Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund is coordinated by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, United Way of Greater Kansas City, LISC Greater Kansas City (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), and the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) .
Reported deaths increase in Wyandotte County
Wyandotte County reported an additional 40 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, for a cumulative 7,852 cases, and an additional 13 deaths, for a cumulative 158 deaths, according to the UG COVID-19 webpage.
COVID-19 testing continues in Wyandotte County
A free COVID-19 pop-up test will continue from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at Faith Deliverance Family Worship Center, 3043 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas. The pop-up test is through Vibrant Health and the Wyandotte County Health Equity Task Force.
The Unified Government Health Department has moved its COVID-19 testing from the 6th and Ann location to the former Kmart at 78th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. The hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Tests are free for those who live or work in Wyandotte County.
The tests now are open to asymptomatic people as well as those who have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. Check with the UG Health Department’s Facebook page to see if there have been any changes in the schedule because of the weather or for other reasons. Bring something that shows that you live or work in Wyandotte County, such as a utility bill.
For more information about the new testing site at the former Kmart location, visit https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/10092020_newtestingsitewyco.pdf.
Flu shots offered
Flu shots will be offered from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at the Turner Recreation lower parking lot, 831 S> 55th St., Kansas City, Kansas.
Flu shots also are available at the UG Health Department by appointment only, 913-573-8855, and will be offered soon at the former Kmart at 78th and State Avenue.
Flu shots also are available at many safety net clinics, and a list of them is at https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/flu_shots.
The UG COVID-19 webpage is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.
The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/.
The Unified Government COVID-19 hub outbreak map is at https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/.
To see an NEA list of schools that have had COVID-19 cases, visit https://app.smartsheet.com/b/publish?EQBCT=aa3f2ede7cb2415db943fdaf45866d2f.
The KC Region COVID-19 Hub dashboard is at https://marc2.org/covidhub/.
The CDC’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.