The United Way will begin accepting more applications Thursday morning for $20 million in relief funds for Miami-Dade residents, with stipends available to cover groceries, electric bills and rent for people hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications will be accepted starting at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, according to an announcement posted on United Way’s website. When the application process first opened in early August, it took less than a week for the United Way to halt the process because it was so quickly overwhelmed with requests. A United Way representative said Wednesday night she expects the same kind of response this time around.
“There’s such a huge, great need in the community,” said Cristina Blanco, head of communications for the charity’s Miami-Dade office.
Out of the $20 million approved by Miami-Dade commissioners from a $474 million CARES Act allocation, United Way said about $14 million has been distributed to residents.
The money went to about 9,000 households, suggesting an average payment of about $1,500. The United Way says the money assisted about 29,000 people. The county legislation creating the program allowed the United Way to use up to $3 million of the fund to cover expenses tied to processing the applications and distributing the dollars.
The applications will be available online at apply.unitedwaymiami.org/submit. The grants target people whose incomes fall just above federal poverty limits, making it harder for them to qualify for existing aid programs. Applicants must be first-time recipients of the aid, and be able to show financial hardship from the COVID pandemic.