Lee County set to rollout pandemic relief plan for struggling residents

Lee County plans to help people hit by the pandemic stay on their feet. That County wants to distribute over $23 million to struggling families, so we looked at what people need to qualify.

Qualification criteria for Lee County pandemic relief:

  • Must live in Lee County
  • Pay rent
  • Have money trouble due to pandemic

If you’re single, you can prove COVID-19 cost you a job or significant loss of income, and you earned less than $33,000, this could work for you.

A family of four who earned less than $55,000 could be eligible too.

Nikki Amendolaro felt helpless when her mom nearly lost her life to the coronavirus.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Amendolaro said.

Amendolaro felt helpless again when her mom nearly lost her home due to the pandemic.

“It was bad. Seeing her like that was really hard, especially being so helpless because I couldn’t do anything to help her,” Amendolaro said.

Amendolaro kept her mom, but she lost her job along the way. She can’t go back to work. She can barely function.

She did keep her bills though.

“They don’t stop just because of what’s going on,” Amendolaro said.

That helpless feeling, Amendolaro kept that too.

“She starts feeling better, and then, yeah, she was stressed out,” Amendolaro said. “Stressed out about it. We all are. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

COVID-19 stripped so much from so many — our neighbors, friends and family.

But there is help, as Lee County prepares to launch a new program to keep people like Amendolaro’s mom in their homes.

The relief plan will include 12 months of rent and utilities paid for those who qualify, with the possibility to extend if needed.

The County’s goal is to help people get back to their normal as much as it can.

The details are not yet final. Lee County Board of County Commissioners plans to announce the plan Feb. 16 in just under two weeks.

The pandemic didn’t end. The bills didn’t go away, but the help didn’t end either.

“It hurt so bad, and it’s still not back to normal,” Amendolaro said.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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