After two months of living under a Stay-At-Home Advisory, Governor Baker announced that the state has moved to a less-restricted "Safer-At-Home" Advisory. He also released the details of his four-phased plan to allow businesses to reopen while adhering to new safety guidelines.

We know that business owners and their employees are eager to get back to work, but this will happen gradually. In the meantime, the financial impact that COVID-19 has had on individuals, families, and business owners cannot be understated. That is why United Way set up the Help United – Greater New Bedford COVID-19 Response Fund. This fund provides cash assistance to out of work service workers and retired or out of work seniors over 65 in the Greater New Bedford area. United Way of Greater New Bedford does not want area residents to have to choose between food, rent, and/or medication.

Recipients must live in Greater New Bedford (Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, or Wareham). Checks must be issued directly to the vendor/provider to pay for eligible services rather than to the beneficiary. Due to the flexibility of this fund, every effort should be made by all parties to pair these funds with other existing public or private sources allowing for the best possible outcome in regard to preventing eviction or other crisis. The amount granted in each case should be kept to the minimum necessary to stabilize the individual or household, typically not to exceed $1,000 per household. Households may only apply once for this opportunity.

There are no income eligibility guidelines. United Way of Greater New Bedford and/or a service agency will complete an assessment of need based on an application, interview, and references. Due to the nature of the crisis, interviews will take place virtually.

What these funds can cover:

  • Rent/mortgage owed
  • Utility expenses
  • Child care expenses
  • Other needs as mutually agreed upon
  •  Successful applicants are invited to share their stories.

What you’ll need for the application:

  • A Gmail email address
  • A photo ID
  • A photo of the bill(s) you are requesting to be paid.
  • *Your most recent pay stub for employment verification.
  • All documents must be 10MB or smaller.

*If you do not have pay stubs available, you may submit other documentation that verifies that you qualify for this assistance. Documents include a severance letter, communication from your employer about reduced hours, application for unemployment, etc. Disability or Social Security statements do not count as employment verification.

Please click HERE for more information and to apply.

READ MORE: Inspiring Stories From the Coronavirus Pandemic

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