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United Way providing rent, utility assistance during pandemic

Matthew Lane • May 13, 2020 at 3:00 PM

KINGSPORT — For those struggling to pay their rent or utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, some relief will soon be coming your way.

The Upper East Tennessee Human Development Authority (UETHDA) is getting some much needed assistance from the six United Way organizations in our region. It’s in the form of $61,000, money that’s coming from the United Ways’ regional COVID-19 relief fund.

Norma Tremblay, the community services director for UETHDA, said folks who qualify could receive assistance over a four-month period (dropping 25% each month) with the maximum amount received being $2,000.

“We’re so very thankful and believe the money will make a difference for hundreds of people in our region,” Tremblay said.

The United Ways in Northeast Tennessee and UETHDA plan to make dollars available beginning May 18. If you’re interested in applying for housing, rent, or utility assistance, you may do so by calling (423) 246-6180 or by visiting www.uethda.org.

Anyone affected by COVID-19 is encouraged to apply for assistance.

UETHDA is a nonprofit organization located in Kingsport that has for more than 50 years provided services that assist families and individuals with needs in education, housing and energy, employment, food and health.

ABOUT THE GRANT

The grant is available thanks to several major gifts, including ones from the Eastman Foundation, First Horizon Bank, TEC Industrial, and other individual contributors. The six participating United Way organizations include ones in Kingsport, Bristol, Elizabethton, Greene County, Hawkins County and Washington County.

The purpose of the regional fund is to “focus response efforts on vulnerable populations, including children, families, and the ALICE population.”

Danelle Glasscock, executive director at the United Way of Greater Kingsport, explained, “ALICE is an acronym coined by United Way that represents all who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

“This demographic is made of men, women, and families who work hard and earn more than the official federal poverty level, but less than the basic cost of living, and describes 47% of Northeast Tennesseans,” Glasscock said.

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