The City of Morgantown and the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties partnered to distribute $400,000 in COVID-19 CARES relief to people in need in Morgantown. The funds became available through a Community Development Block Grant, which the city received in January.
The program, known as the City of Morgantown CARES Assistance Program, will allocate $200,000 toward utility and rent or mortgage assistance and $200,000 to food pantries. The goal is to help Morgantown families and residents who have been impacted by the economic recession caused by the pandemic. The program is expected to help about 40 area households with utility and rent or mortgage assistance and about 400 people to get food.
“The city received these federal funds to help our citizens during this difficult time,” said City of Morgantown Assistant City Manager Emily Muzzarelli. “Our hope is that this funding will help keep individuals and families from having to decide whether to pay a utility bill, rent or put food on the table. The city does not have a mechanism to distribute these funds directly, so partnering with the United Way to accomplish this was a no-brainer. They’re excellent at what they do, and we’re grateful for their help.”
To apply for rent, mortgage or utility assistance, applicants must be residents of Morgantown; have experienced negative financial impact due to COVID-19; and can provide verification of a lease, mortgage or rental agreement and/or late utility payments. Cooperation with applicants, landlords or mortgage lenders and utility companies is also required. Mortgage assistance is only available for a primary residence.
The food assistance will be handled primarily through area food programs.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to partner with the City of Morgantown to help those who need it most in our community,” said United Way CEO Brandi Helms. “While these are unprecedented times, we are able to respond to them in unprecedented ways. Helping these people be able to pay their rent or mortgage, or helping them pay the electric bill. Even just getting a hungry family some food. We’re helping them get back on their feet, and that is so rewarding. We can’t thank the city enough for the partnership and funding that makes this possible.”
Morgantown residents can download the application form at unitedwaympc.org/careshelp or call 211.