Nonprofit organization Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) established a fund for those impacted financially by the coronavirus.
The fund, named ALICE, was started with a $100,000 investment from HFUW and asks other local businesses to join.
ALICE stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed. The fund is to support Orange, Osceola, and Seminole County residents who don’t have too much money in the bank but are employed at minimum wage and are one disastrous event away from financial ruin. The fund also helps small business owners pay their hourly employees so they can afford their rent, mortgage or utilities.
“The hourly workers will be financially impacted as their hours are cut and possibly laid-off,” said Jeff Hayward, president and CEO of Heart of Florida United Way.
HFUW gets around 240,000 calls a year from people needing financial assistance, and now with COVID-19 bringing a whopping $4 trillion decline to U.S. businesses nationwide, it will bring meaningful cuts to employment, according to a Bridgewater report.
To get rental or utility assistance from the fund, those qualified to seek assistance must call HFUW at 211, give their name and number, and explain how they are being financially impacted by COVID-19 through reduced hours, layoff or furlough. Those seeking assistance should be prepared to present previous statements of rent or utilities, income statements, bank statements, pay stubs, rent agreements, or utility bills to show they are falling behind.
Calling 211 will also connect those who seek a local food bank or mental health assistance to the correct numbers and locations.
Those looking to help the cause should go to HFUW.org and can donate money through their website, or call 211 and be directed to donate through the phone.
HFUW gave an average of $1,300 assistance during the Hurricane Maria crisis in 2017.
“We are anticipating, just like when a hurricane happens, that during the hurricane, we get very few calls, but immediately after the hurricane, we get hundreds and hundreds of calls,” Hayward said.
Photo Courtesy of hfuw.org