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LCCAA announces plan for CARES funding


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) allocated funding to Lorain County Community Action Agency (LCCAA), which is creating three new programs and expanding others.


The funds were added to LCCAA’s Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and will be used to create an Eviction Avoidance Program, provide assistance with water bills, create a community garden and more. For all CARES-funded programs, residents must be living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line.


“We know many are struggling to meet their basic needs,” said President and CEO Jackie Boehnlien. “The CSBG CARES funding that came to Lorain County will predominately be used to help residents with the essentials of housing, running water and food.”


LCCAA is partnering with Lorain County Urban League to create the Eviction Avoidance Program. Rent assistance is part of the process. However, landlord and tenant mediation are also involved. LCCAA and Urban League will make sure tenants’ legal rights are protected as renters get back on track with their lease obligations.  


To be eligible for the Eviction Avoidance Program, residents must have been current on their rent as of March 1, 2020. Funds are limited and being distributed throughout the county. The tenant must be named in the lease. Payment will only be made to the landlord at the address of record listed in the lease. Eviction Avoidance began Aug. 10.


Water bill assistance will be administered through LCCAA’s HEAP department. The program will begin Sept. 1 and additional details will be forthcoming.


Next spring, LCCAA will partner with Our F.A.M.I.L.Y. to create a community garden on land the agency owns on Huron Street in Elyria. Initially, the garden will contain 20 plots leased to community residents.


“Community gardens are a source of nutritious seasonal food for households experiencing food insecurity,” Boehnlein said. “The gardens become a safe gathering place where neighbors support each other and strengthen community.”


CSBG CARES funding will allow the expansion of LCCAA’s partnerships with local food pantries. Since 2013, LCCAA has granted CSBG funds to dozens of food pantries in the last months of the year. The CSBG CARES funds make these awards last the entire year. The majority of LCCAA’s Food Pantry Partners are also charity partners with Second Harvest of North Central Ohio. Second Harvest will collaborate with LCCAA to put the CSBG CARES funds directly into partner accounts each month and keep the funding flowing throughout the year.


Operation Warm will also be expanded thanks to CARES funding. The program provides free winter coats to children ages 0 to 18. The partnership between LCCAA, Lorain Metropolitan Housing and Head Start will be expanded to include the Timber Lake Apartments in Avon as well as all home-based Head Start students.


Funds will be used to purchase additional equipment needed to administer CSBG programs in a safe manner. This will include technology that can be loaned to participants in the Youth Services, Getting Ahead and BYCar programs for remote programming. A second van for transporting Youth Services participants will also be purchased to accommodate the increased number of trips that will be required as well as allowing for the vehicles to be pulled out of service for regular sanitation.


“The CSBG CARES funding was approved at the end of March. Since then, as the funding made its way through the allocation and approval processes, we have been working to make sure every dollar would do the most good,” Boehnlein said. “Our mission is to serve and empower Lorain County residents in need. This funding will help us do that for many people who never thought they’d need us.”


For complete details on LCCAA’s CSBG CARES programs, please visit www.lccaa.net. For more information on the CARES Act, visit: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares




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Revised: 08/18/20 18:11:38 -0700.




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