January 2021

Program Providing Replacement Income for Columbus Residents Recovering from COVID-19 Extended

City Council President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown and Columbus Urban League extend partnership to support families, after initial phase assisting 473 residents 

Due to great need, the City of Columbus committed an additional $410,000 to the Right to Recover program serving people who lose income due to COVID-19 and who commit to isolate in their homes for 14 days to lessen the spread of the virus.

The Right to Recover partnership between Council President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown and the Columbus Urban League has already provided emergency financial relief totaling $498,100 to 473 Columbus low-income workers between October and December 2020.

“Making sure no one has to choose between their health and their next paycheck is a crucial step towards keeping our community safe and supporting an equitable recovery from this pandemic,” said Pro Tem Brown. “It is in our citywide interest to make sure that everyone has the security they need to get tested and follow safety guidance if they test positive for COVID-19.”

Residents eligible for the latest round of funding should click here or call 614-484-9111 to start the application process.

“It bears repeating — no one should go broke because they got sick,” said Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of the Columbus Urban League. “The need is real. In just three months, our team fielded inquiries from 1,124 people seeking to cover losses of more than $1.2 million. We are very grateful to Council President Pro Tem Brown and to the City for their compassion and foresight, and we will continue helping families stay afloat no matter the financial and health challenges caused by the pandemic.”

Hightower also noted that nine out of ten individuals who received replacement funds had never sought help from CUL previously. Most had jobs that lack paid time off benefits, making a COVID-19 diagnosis a financial as well as a health threat. Of those who did not receive funding, some waited too long to reach out, some exceeded the income guidelines and some were ordered to quarantine but had not been tested for the virus.

As recipient Angela de Jesus wrote: “I am a single mom, raising my eight-year-old grandson who I love. I lost three weeks of work due to contacting COVID-19 working in a nursing home. Thanks to God that I’m better. The program has been a blessing to me, and I’m thankful for the help…”

CUL estimates that the additional City funding will serve 280 additional families between now and March 1, 2021, while celebrating Council for raising the financial eligibility limits, allowing household incomes of approximately $48,000 annually for a family of four to access the program.

“So many of the people who qualified were single-parent households, people living paycheck to paycheck,” said Brown. “This is truly a lifeline effort to keep workers and their families going for another day.”

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