July 2020

Need help paying rent? The Columbus Urban League may be the answer

For Jameika Hord when she unlocks the door to her apartment, she can’t help but feel grateful.

“I had lost my job,” she said.

Hord was a receptionist. She was furloughed during the pandemic shut down and then eventually lost her job. And for three months was without an income.

“So when things started to fall apart, I got into panic mode. I thought the worst was going to happen, and I was going to lose everything,” she said.

That’s when she finally reached out to the Columbus Urban League for help. It’s the first time she says she’ ever asked for assistance.

Rhonda Gaines, Director of Empowerment Services for the Columbus Urban League says they’ve been seeing a lot of first-time clients.

“They’re saying I’ve never needed help before, but I do now. Can you show me how to get started?” Gaines said.

The Columbus Urban League has been overwhelmed with calls for help. Since March, they’ve received nearly 7,000 calls. People needing help paying for their rent or mortgage. And they’ve been able to help pay that bill when they can or give referrals.

“So we’ve been dealing with a lot of the population that’s above the poverty level and are just going through unemployment due to COVID-19,” said Gaines.

She says the funding comes from the city, the county, and from Impact Community Action. But she stresses the need is great right now and The Columbus Urban League is always looking for donations. It’s donations that help people like Jameika Hord get back on their feet again.

“They actually came to the landlord’s home and gave them the check personally and stayed in contact with me during the whole process,” Hord said.

Now Hord has a new job and is paying her own rent. She hopes others will turn to the Columbus Urban league for help if they need it.

If you would like more information about the Columbus Urban League’s programs or want to make a donation you can check out their website.

By Maria Durant

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