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As eviction moratorium nears its end, nonprofits offer help

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 18:38:17-04

BRYAN, TX — The federal government’s pandemic period eviction moratorium will be ending in just two weeks. This means renters who have been unable to pay their landlords could once again face the possibility of losing their homes.

Local charity organizations reported seeing an influx of people in need of financial assistance during the pandemic. Those nonprofits, such as the United Way of the Brazos Valley [UWBV], are still available to help families who may be struggling to pay rent or utility bills.

The United Way operates a community resource referral phone line known as 2-1-1. Whether someone needs to be connected to a mental health counselor, food pantry, or an affordable childcare center, phone operators are available to point clients to the resource that directly addresses their need.

"Some of the programs available for rental assistance will help people who have children [for example], and there’s different eligibility criteria," said Peggi Goss, vice president of community impact with UWBV. "So the best thing that 2-1-1 can do is talk through the criteria, so that the callers know which programs are best fit for them to apply.”

One of the services UWBV may recommend for rental assistance is the Salvation Army office of Bryan-College Station, which serves Brazos County residents.

“For rental assistance and utility assistance, [clients] can apply and receive it one time every twelve months," said Bridget Lenhardt, director of development for Salvation Army B/CS.

Lenhardt said the local organization saw a significant influx in need for financial assistance at the onset of the pandemic. Though demand has decreased since then, she anticipates the Salvation Army will be called upon to help even more people over the summer.

Lenhardt suggests anyone in need call the Salvation Army. An appointment will be made with a staffer there, who will then review financial documents and leases to determine a client’s level of need.

"All those documents are taken into consideration, especially if they are going to be evicted," Lenhardt said. "We take all those factors into consideration.”

For assistance from the Salvation Army, call 979-361-0618. The United Way is also open for all kinds of inquiries, and can be reached just by dialing 2-1-1.