By: Paul Scott Abbott
(Cleveland)- With revised health and safety procedures in place, White County Caring & Sharing is continuing to assist local families with rent, utilities, and other critical basics. Indeed, the need has never been greater.
“As we head into the holidays, with COVID-19 impacts rippling throughout our community, we anticipate the need for help will be as great as ever,” said the Rev. Marc Turner, lead pastor of the Cleveland Worship Center, who serves as volunteer president of White County Caring & Sharing.
To meet needs while addressing safety, the not-for-profit Caring & Sharing ministry has since the spring shifted from face-to-face taking of applications to relying upon phone interviews. On application days, those seeking assistance may come to Cleveland First Baptist Church, 25 Church St., between 9:15 and 10 a.m., and pick up a flyer from beneath the welcome center canopy. Applicants are then assigned a time for a phone interview later the same day.
Due to the holidays, the application days for November and December have been moved earlier. The next two are set for Monday, Nov. 16, and Monday, Dec. 14, before a return to the regular schedule of the fourth Monday of the month, with applications to be taken on Jan. 25.
In recent months, Caring & Sharing has furnished assistance to several White County residents who have contracted COVID-19, as well as those who have lost jobs or seen work hours reduced. The ministry has helped families under quarantine and people temporarily living in a tent after displaced by a home fire.
Applicants with proof of at least three months of White County residency and original bills and/or landlord letters may qualify for assistance once per six-month period, with a lifetime limit of three assists per household.
Since established in 1990, Caring & Sharing has helped thousands of White County residents in financial crisis, with assistance totaling more than $1.5 million.
“We’re blessed to live in an extraordinarily giving community,” Turner said. “This selfless generosity has allowed us to continue to serve neighbors in need even as traditional funding sources are squeezed. We are everlastingly grateful for all the support.”
Go to www.whitecountycaringandsharing.com to learn more about the ministry, including how to give online.