Hope Center, Bridges Community Action in line for grants

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Two local nonprofit organizations are recommended to receive nearly $21,000 to assist Union County residents with rent and mortgage costs.
The Hope Center will receive $12,973 from Phase CARES while Bridges Community Action Partnership will receive $8,009 from Phase 37. The plan to award the monies was submitted by the Union County Local Review Board.
Both agencies will use the funding to supplement emergency rent and mortgage assistance in the county under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (ESFP). The plan is currently pending approval by ESFP.
The federal fund is administered locally by The United Way of Union County.
“We are grateful for the support of our board, comprised of representatives from local government, social services, and faith agencies,” said Corinne Bix, UWUC Director and local board chair.
She added, “United Way of Union County is proud to lead this program locally and bring together community leaders who thoughtfully considered and assessed the applications to ensure that these federal dollars would be fully utilized.”
Any nonprofit, faith-based or local government agency located in Union County that provides food, shelter, and supportive services was eligible to apply for the funding.  
Lorie Spain, who manages the Emergency Assistance Program at the Hope Center,  said housing is an issue throughout the nation. She said it is further compounded in Union County, given there isn’t a local shelter or many affordable housing options.
“The Hope Center will be utilizing EFSP Grant Funds to assist Union County Families to secure, or stay in their current housing by having the funds to assist with rent, mortgage or emergency stays in hotel or campgrounds until shelter or a more permanent solution is found,” Spain explained.
 Bridges Community Action Partnership Executive Director Andrew Binegar said his group is thankful for the additional funds.
 “We continue to have customers who, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, have difficulty maintaining their rent and/or mortgage payments,” Binegar said. “The primary goal of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program is to generate positive financial benefits by addressing the payment troubles of low-income customers during these uncertain times.”
Per EFSP guidelines the local board was comprised of individuals representing local government, social services, and the faith community. Members include: Corinne Bix, United Way of Union County; Union County Commissioner Chris Schmenk; Ashley Gaver, City of Marysville; Becky Bolt, Hope Center; Gene Miller, Marysville Area Ministerial Association; Jason King, Council for Union County Families; Andrew Binegar, Bridges Community Action Partnership; Claudette Colvin, The Salvation Army – Marysville; Ken McHattie, American Red Cross Volunteer; Deacon Dave Bezusko, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church; Jerome Shapiro, Jewish Foundation; Heath Ring, Heart of Ohio Homeless Shelter; Laura Michalak, Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities; Sue Ware, Union County Job and Family Services; Dr. Phil Atkins, Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County; Jason Stanford, Union County-Marysville Economic Development.
Under terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must be private voluntary non-profits or units of government; have a sound accounting system; practice nondiscrimination; have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and, if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have an active board. 



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