July 2020 CityHeart Moments – The resurgence following shut-down begins!

CityHeart moved back into our office space on June 15 just in time for the influx of requests that have come as a result of the restrictions being lifted for evictions and water bills. CityHeart is ready to assist and be part of the solution for these friends and neighbors. The photo below shows the client Intake forms that have been processed for the last three months, and the pile for July is only half the month!

The following stories are just examples of people we helped within a 10-day period. A lot of water!

Thelma is almost 3 months behind on her monthly utility payment of $46 for DP&L.  She receives Social Security retirement income of $763 monthly, and usually supplements that with part time work but has not been able to get any work due to COVID-19. She has been paying on a small bank loan that caused her to fall behind on other bills. When we talked to her on June 17 she was referred to the local Community Action Agency, but they are overwhelmed and she has not heard back from them. She is very concerned. CityHeart offered to pay half of the $138 past due amount, and St. Vincent at Our Lady of Mercy paid the other half, the situation was resolved in a timely manner to get her caught up!

Larry lives in the Northridge area and has been juggling bills for utilities and rent since he lost his job as a result of the tornado last May. The volunteers at Queen of Martyrs church know his story all too well and have tried to help stabilize his life circumstances. It sounds like he may have some ongoing obstacles to employment and may never find work again, certainly not during a pandemic. We helped with his rent last summer and were happy to respond to his request to help pay his rent again for July. The St. Vincent volunteers assured us that they will continue to monitor his situation.

Angel has received a notice from the water department. She was unable to pay her water bill because she has recently helped two of her sisters that lost their jobs due to the pandemic. She now needs help herself! She had calls in to various agencies, but in the end, Angel was denied by all other assisting organizations because the bill was through a 3rd party supplier. We paid $100 to keep her water service on, and she was very grateful that we were responsive to coordinating with a 3rd party. It was all easily verified with the utility company and we’re not sure why no one else would help, but CityHeart did!

Mary lives at the YWCA. She has an income but needs help with July rent of $231.00. Her purse was stolen and she will not have enough money until next month. The rental office is very understanding but they need something paid on her account this month. CityHeart paid a portion and gave her a referral, between the two of us, she will have $150 paid for July and the YWCA will set up a payment plan for the balance. She says she will keep a better watch on her belongings and get caught up in the next month.

Aileen is on a fixed monthly income and is searching for more affordable housing. She took in her grandson who is only working part time and had no place to live. She is sometimes set back on her budget by the quarterly water bill. She paid $100 toward the bill last month, but needs some help to pay the balance to avoid disconnection. CityHeart and St. Vincent partnered to assist with the remainder. 

Laura was recently diagnosed with cancer and is in chemotherapy. The increased medical bills are becoming a burden for her and her husband. They recently had a very large unpaid bill. She received some help from CareSource, St. Vincent, Salvation Army and CityHeart – all contributing to resolve the issue. The CareSource case manager will continue to work with them. Sometimes, it just takes a village! 

Linda is the only adult in the household, raising her three grandchildren alone. She has been keeping up on most of her bills during this time, but her son who normally helps financially has lost his job due to the pandemic. He is unable to help with the amount she needs at this time. The water bill is only $135 but she just doesn’t have it right now. Once again, with one other partner, we paid the same day, and her problem is solved for now. We gave her additional resources as necessary moving forward.