WINCHESTER — Frederick County is partnering with United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley and its Valley Assistance Network (VAN) to distribute $300,000 of federal CARES [Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security] Act money to county residents who need help paying utility bills or making mortgage/rent payments.

“Since COVID began, we have seen a 130% increase in requests in Frederick County for assistance through VAN,” United Way President and CEO Nadine Pottinga said in a news release. “Most of that has been for rent and utilities.”

United Way and VAN don't provide direct payments to individuals. Instead, the nonprofit group works with its partner agencies to provide funding through a coordinated effort that makes the most sense. Money will be paid directly to the utility provider or landlord/mortgage company to cover unpaid bills caused by COVID-19-related hardship.

Through its COVID-19 Relief Fund, VAN has aided 152 families and 372 individuals in Frederick County. Seventy-two percent of that help was related to housing insecurity.

“Providing assistance to help people stay in their home or keep utilities on seemed to be a serious need and we feel the numbers provided by United Way support that,” County Administrator Kris Tierney said in the release. “We are pleased they will be able to allocate the funding to those most in need.”

Applications for assistance must be submitted to VAN, and proper documentation must be submitted along with the application. Visit the United Way NSV’s website for more details on qualifying and required documentation: www.unitedwaynsv.org/van. Learn more about the United Way’s COVID-19 Relief Fund at www.unitedwaynsv.org/covidrelieffund. Contact the United Way NSV at 540-536-1610 or VAN at 540-773-3178.

(4) comments

Ann Gibson

Great news! So glad people are getting help!

Chris 22602

This is ridiculous, this is socialism at its worst!

worrellkids4

Why is this ridiculous?

jimamerican

It's not ridiculous to those who live paycheck to paycheck and who are now unemployed because of the pandemic, Chris. As one who has been there, I can tell you this is a lifeline, not socialism. You may want to try some empathy lest you find yourself in such a situation.

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