COVID-19 relief money helping people pay bills in Fayetteville

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — This week the city of Fayetteville started the process of helping people catch up on their housing or utility bills.  

The city has $470,000 in federal CARES Act money to make one time payments, up to $2,000 for each family.

Lisa Vaughan is a mother of two who says she lost her job this summer, and is nearly $2,000 behind in rent.

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“I like to try to do stuff on my own, and there are some times you’ve got to reach out, at this time I have to,” Vaughan said.

Fayetteville Urban Ministry is one of the groups helping the city distribute the money to those who qualify.

“There are people who are in desperation,” Patricia Jackson, operations manager for Fayetteville Urban Ministry said. “The need is critical.”

Vaughan is starting the process to apply for help with rent.

“It’s hard it really is, especially when you’re one person,” Vaughan said.

Alex Baker with the city of Fayetteville says in a typical week the local United Way 211 helpline gets about 100 to 125 calls.

“This week alone they’ve been bombarded with 1,510 calls,” Baker said. “It will go extremely fast.”

“At the end of the day we all have to support each other, we all have to lean on each other,” Jackson said. “No one gets anywhere without a little help, so we don’t look at it as a hand out, we look at it as a hand up.”

“It’s a really big help because if there weren’t certain people I could reach out to, I wouldn’t know where to go,” Vaughan said.

 Once the applicants get approved, the money should be distributed within a week, Baker said.

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