United Way disburses federal pandemic relief funds

Sue Guinn Legg • May 19, 2020 at 9:41 PM

The United Way of Washington County on Tuesday announced the disbursement of nearly $109,000 in FEMA funding recently awarded for emergency food, shelter and rent assistance to people in the county impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Designated to administer the funds, the United Way announced the availability of the funds on May 11 and appointed a local board to review applications from area nonprofit organizations providing services to people who lost jobs or experienced hardship as a result of the pandemic.

The funding awards were announced on Tuesday and include the following organizations:

• $25,000 to the Johnson City Salvation Army for food, rent, utility assistance and emergency shelter.

• $20,000 to Fairview Housing for rent and utility assistance.

• $20,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee for summer food boxes to be distributed in lieu of the food bank’s pre-COVID summer feeding program.

• $8,500 to Frontier Health’s Safe House domestic violence shelter.

• $8,257 to the Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness.

• $5,000 to the Community Help Center of Northeast Tennessee in Jonesborough.

Per FEMA guidelines, the United Way received 2 percent of the total $108,936 FEMA award or $2,179, for administering the funds.

The local United Way has established a Washington County COVID-19 response fund from which 100 percent of all donations are disbursed to nonprofit programs serving county residents impacted by the pandemic.

Established on March 18, the fund has so far funneled $61,000 in community donations to local nonprofit programs and will make its third round of local agency disbursements next week.

The deadline for nonprofit agencies to submit applications for support is Friday, May 22. Applications are available online at www.uwowc.org/COVID-19 or may be obtained by calling the United Way at 423-220-1229

We know that these funds will make a difference in the lives of our neighbors and help our nonprofits fulfill their mission. From the beginning of this crisis, we have raised the funds, while our nonprofits are the boots on the ground doing the work necessary for our community to recover.” United Way President and CEO Kristan Spear said.

“We can only give out what we receive so we do want to encourage donations,” she said.

Contributions to the Washington County United Way COVID-19 Response Fund may also be made at the website or by calling the United Way.