Hundreds of Hamilton County residents struggling because of Covid-19 got direct access to help Tuesday night during the county’s “relief-a-thon.”
Hamilton County Job and Family Services and the Hamilton County administration joined with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and 20 other agencies to answer calls from people looking for relief on everything from rent and mortgages to utilities and small business help. Officials at the United Way spoke to 403 people who called their 211 hotline during the two-hour event that was shown live on Facebook and cable channels. They have another 150 voicemails to check.
Of the calls, roughly 45% were related to rental assistance and 43% for utility assistance. Another 19 percent were small business-related. Most calls took five to nine minutes.
JFS Interim Director Tim McCartney said all calls directed to JFS will be returned within 48 hours. He spoke about rental and utility help available to people who suffered a loss of income because of the Covid-19 pandemic and emphasized that the income eligibility requirements go up to more than $62,000 for a family of three.
Held at Waycross Media in Forest Park, the event was hosted by Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reece and Forest Park Councilmember Aharon Brown. Its purpose was to make sure Hamilton County residents know about all the CARES Act funding and other dollars that are available to help them as well as to make sure they know how to access that help.
Speakers emphasized Hamilton County’s new one-stop website – 513Relief.org – as the best place to go to find out what help is available.
Denisha Porter, director of the racial equity coalition All-In Cincinnati, credited the 513Relief.org website with “really breaking down silos” to get people help.
If you need help to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, go to 513Relief.org or call 211.