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Non-profits prepare for spike in aid requests as moratorium on evictions expires

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Due to COVID-19, many people who may have never needed assistance with bills are finding themselves searching for help. Whether its rental or utility assistance, childcare, or mental health help, some are not used to searching for those resources. Local organizations want to get the word out that they are here to connect you with aid.

The governor’s moratorium on evictions runs out on Wednesday, July 1. Non-profits in Tallahassee and Leon County are expecting a tidal wave of people who need assistance, many that have never used it before.

One agency that's already seeing a spike is 211 Big Bend.

"Since March, our call volume on average has gone up almost 50 to 100%," said Hotline Supervisor Stephen Sardelis.

In addition to that increase in calls, 211 Big Bend is seeing a change in the nature of the calls they're receiving.

“A lot of people right now are looking for access to utility and rental assistance, as a lot of people know, tomorrow is the end of the evictions moratorium that was put in place by the state governor,” said Sardelis.

Sardelis says he's expecting a spike in calls after July 1.

"I do think we are going to hear from a lot of people who are in need of help."

Not only 211 Big Bend, but the Capital Area Community Action Agency is also expecting to hear from more residents.

"We can expect that there will be a very significant population that will be needing assistance unless they've been able to work out some type of agreement with

their landlords," said CEO Tim Center.

The Capital Area Community Action Agency assists when people are in crisis with utilities or rent; the non-profit also assists with childcare through Head Start.

Center says he expects it will be a new group of people seeking help, when state and federal aid eventually runs out.

"If we can keep people in their apartments and homes, that is preventing one very large domino from falling, and knocking a number of other issues down for them," said Center.

You can learn more about the agency’s programs by clicking here.

211 Big Bend also wants residents to know, even if they cannot directly connect you to a resource, their counselors are available to talk.

You can find more information about that organization by clicking here.

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