United Way of Johnson County has launched the Economic Assistance Plan- Navigating COVID-19 which will provide case management and financial assistance to individuals who have been affected by COVID-19.
“Since March 13, 2020, United Way of Johnson County has begun planning for the needs of Johnson County citizens who will be affected by COVID-19,” stated Michele Neumann, president of the board for United Way of Johnson County.
“We know there is going to be tremendous needs for individuals who suddenly find themselves trying to make ends meet due to the fact COVID-19 has turned their lives upside down for a variety of reasons.”
Through this program, Johnson County residents who are needing assistance will receive case management that will help evaluate their needs, assess what other assistance they might be able to receive and connect them to resources such as unemployment, food pantries, and SNAP benefits. In addition, the case manager will help the participant set a budget to better operate within their current financial situation. Together, the participant and the case manager will evaluate what are the critical financial areas that need to be addressed to stabilize the family. The goal of the program is to keep individuals in their current housing situation or improve the housing situation of those who are homeless and to keep individuals employed.
United Way of Johnson County was able to begin serving individuals with an initial allocation to The Salvation Army on March 20, 2020 in the amount of
$13,554.52. Through these dollars 15 households or 50 individuals have been served.
Almost immediately, United Way of Johnson County was fortunate to receive generous donations from businesses and organizations who understand the important work that United Way of Johnson County does in our community. The following donations have been made to support the efforts here in Johnson County:
First Financial Foundation: $10,000
Horizon Bank- $10,000
“Horizon Bank encourages other corporate citizens in Johnson Co. to consider giving to United Way of Johnson County to support those affected the most by COVID-19. The sudden economic distress leaves many folks in dire situations with housing, groceries, utilities, and more. I'm proud to be with Horizon Bank which proactively steps up to support so many organizations that are helping people during this time of need,” said Dan Hampton, Regional President – Central Indiana.
Through these dollars, United Way of Johnson County was able to partner with Gateway Services to expand a current program that is funded by United Way of Johnson County. United Way of Johnson County’s Helpline has been able to refer individuals affected for COVID-19 to Gateway Services to receive case management services and financial assistance. Referrals to Gateway Services began April 13, 2020. To date, 13 referrals have been made to Gateway Services. From March 13, 2020 to April 28, 2020, Helpline has received 139 calls related to COVID-19.
“With the receipt of COVID-19 Economic Relief Initiative Grant made possible through a partnership between Lilly Endowment, Inc. and Indiana United Ways, this will help to address the enormous amount of needs in the near future and potentially long-term,” stated Nancy Lohr Plake, executive director for United Way of Johnson County. “This grant will give our Johnson County community an opportunity to collectively address the needs of our families who by no fault of their own have been affected by COVID-19.”
On May 5, 2020, United Way of Johnson County will begin the process to accept applications from our trusted partner agencies for the following: 1) an agency to provide case management coordination and be the fiscal manager for financial assistance, 2) a variety of agencies to provide case management services, 3) agencies to provide phone coverage for the Helpline as the number of calls are continuing to increase.
Those affected by COVID-19 will need to call the Helpline at 317-738-4636. Eligibility for the program are the following:
resident of Johnson County at the time of job/incomeloss
client remains a resident of Johnson County while in case management
job loss or a minimum 50 percent loss of family income since March 1, 2020 due to COVID-19
Job loss could include:
due to employer closing or furloughing workers due to COVID-19;
due to childcare issues due COVID-19,
due to illness of the individual or household member with COVID-19.
loss of household income because of death of income earner because of COVID-19.
Participant agrees to take part in the case management program
United Way of Johnson County is a local organization directed and operated by a volunteer board of directors who live or work in Johnson County. The organization is responsible for evaluating the needs of the community, raising money and allocating those funds appropriately in order to meet the needs of Johnson County residents. “ Moving forward, United Way will commit to raise dollars for our agencies who continue to serve our community 365 days a year. The annual campaign will become even more important because our agencies will need to rise to the challenge of these very uncertain times,” commented Plake.