With the arrival of Lent in mid-February 2021, we were acutely aware that folks in our local communities had found their lives upended during the past year through no fault of their own. Many people had been unable to pay their rent or mortgage for various reasons, including job loss, reduced work hours, extended illness due to Covid infection, and other difficulties arising from the pandemic.
To help with this situation, the Mission Committee began a fundraising effort within our congregation by designating $3000 from our Mission Discretion Fund to BEDS Plus Care for homelessness prevention. Very quickly, our congregation responded GENEROUSLY, Session approved matching funds, and together, our efforts resulted in a total gift of $40,000 delivered to BEDS Plus. What a gift for PCWS to be able to partner with BEDS and essentially contribute $1,000 for each of the 40 days of Lent!
Joann Boblick, Manager of Stabilization Services, and the BEDS organization were thrilled with the meaningful support these funds will provide in their ongoing mission to help prevent homelessness. Through their tailored approach, BEDS Plus can often keep people housed without the need for further help, and we are honored to have been able to partner with them in their efforts this Spring.
Update May 15, 2021:
Recently, we learned from BEDS Plus that the state of Illinois has additional funds available for rental assistance. Here is the information we have received:
The Illinois Housing Development Authority’s 2021 Illinois Rental Payment Program is an emergency rental assistance program designed to support households in Illinois that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted starting on May 17.
Applicants are eligible for up to15 months of assistance. The grant can cover the past due rent from the previous 12 months and future rental assistance for the next three months, if deemed necessary. The maximum grant amount is $25,000. If approved, the grant will be paid to the housing provider in the form of a check.
Applicants do not need to be legally present to apply for help.
Joann joined us in (virtual) worship in February and shared some important details of the program. Watch her compelling video here.