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Feds to reimburse Charlotte County for assisting residents during pandemic

The federal government will reimburse Charlotte County for the financial assistance it gave residents for costs lost during the pandemic.

It has been a tough few months for Sharon Williams and her eight kids. They just moved to Charlotte County from Georgia.

“Loss of job, there’s really no work actually right now; I’m actually homeless right now,” she said.

Williams and other struggling families can get help through Charlotte County’s partnership with Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD).

The federal CARES Act is giving $32.9 million to Charlotte County, which should help ease some of the county’s financial burden from the coronavirus.

“The first thing we’d be looking to do is to recoup the dollars that we’ve already spent in terms of expenditures around COVID,” said Gordon Burger, Charlotte County’s director of Budget and Administrative Services.

By next week, the county should see $8 million. As the county spends the remaining $24 million, they’ll be reimbursed for that as time goes on. Those funds can be used to help businesses in the county.

“Our hope is that the governor will see that differently and advance dollars if we have specific programs, because that would be a huge burden for counties to carry,” Burger said.

With a small portion set aside in the event of a hurricane.

“We’re going to be under very different evacuation rules under COVID, and we need additional dollars for that,” Burger said.

The money will help families facing the worst-case scenario.

“It would help out a lot,” Williams said.

Only families who apply for help are eligible for financial assistance. For more information and to apply for assistance, call 211 or go to COADFL.org. You can also click here for more information.

Charlotte County said Wednesday that 1,725 households (4,812 residents) have applied for assistance.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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