Tucker Partnership Promises to Boost Residents in Need
While the worst of the COVID pandemic seems to be in the past, there are still lingering effects from the virus. For some, it’s a physical manifestation, while others feel mentally taxed. And yet there is another group that the City of Tucker is now looking to help: those who are feeling the financial effects of the pandemic.
According to the Pew Research Center, 47 percent of low-income adults in America say they are struggling to save money since the pandemic started. That means that when unexpected expenses come up, a medical bill or broken appliance, families don’t have that emergency fund to dip into. It’s leading some to fall behind on their rent and other household bills.
Understanding that reality, Tucker’s Mayor and City Council decided earlier this year to earmark $1.2 million in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds for residents who find themselves in such a bind.
“As soon as President Biden announced the ARP funds, we began to prioritize how best to put this money to work in the community,” said Assistant City Manager John McHenry, who is overseeing distribution of the money. “I think it is telling that the very first move we made was to direct these funds to residents in need. The City saw a crucial need and we responded in a prompt manner with a trusted partner.”
The City is partnering on the project with Tucker-based NETWorks Cooperative Ministry. It’s a close relationship that got even closer last year when the two sides collaborated to distribute almost $1 million in federal CARES Act funds. This time around, the mission is the same.
“We hear from people every day who are falling behind on their utility bills or, even worse, their rent or mortgage payments,” explained David Fisher, the Executive Director of NETWorks. “Some families have rebounded financially and are doing just fine. But it’s important for everyone to remember that there is a large number of people who lost their jobs or had their hours cut as a result of the pandemic. We need to continue to work to help those folks get through this very challenging time.”
Fisher predicts that, with the amount of need in the community, the $1.2 million will go fast. But it’s just the latest way to show how the City of Tucker and its nonprofit partners are stepping up to look out for all members of the community.
If you are in need of financial assistance and meet the criteria for the American Rescue Plan program, go to www.tuckerga.gov/arp for more information and to apply.