COLORADO SPRINGS — Catholic Charities of Central Colorado reached a milestone, serving more than 560 families with over half a million dollars in COVID-19 rental assistance, helping them stay in their homes and safe from eviction.
The agency says the families they served were already living paycheck to paycheck. Once the pandemic began, many of the adults in these families became jobless because they worked in the food service industry.
“The economic impact of COVID-19 has been devastating on so many households," said Andy Barton, CEO of Catholic Charities "One of the reasons we have been able to keep evictions down locally is that our community has stepped up to provide the funding necessary to keep people housed."
Since the beginning of COVID-19, funds from the CARES Act, El Paso County CARES, Colorado Trust, Community Development Block Grant program, FEMA, Myron Stratton Home, Pikes Peak Community Foundations, Pikes Peak United Way, and a number of individual donations made it possible for Catholic Charities to help families.
Most of the people served with rent assistance have never sought help before. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Catholic Charities showed that 54% of those served with rent assistance stated they would not have needed services if not for COVID-19.
"We're not talking about those people who needed assistance in the past," said Lorri Orwig, Senior Vice President of Operations. "We're talking about people who have through no fault of their own, have fallen into a situation because of the pandemic that has left them wondering how are they going to pay their bills."
Many of the people helped had lost jobs or had work hours significantly reduced as a result of the pandemic guidelines impacting business hours, closures, or limited numbers allowed into businesses.
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