Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Advisory Council Announces Second Major Disbursement of Funds

(Abingdon, VA) May 29, 2020 – The Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Advisory Council announced today the second major disbursement of funds raised. In partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), the Advisory Council will provide a total of $85,000 that will be available to Southwest Virginia families beginning in June.

The council has set aside $5,000 for each of the 16 local departments of social services (LDSS) agencies in the official United Way of Southwest Virginia footprint to provide assistance that is not currently met with existing government resources, specifically benefiting the ALICE population.

ALICE, an acronym coined by United Way that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed represents men, women, and families who work hard and earn more than the official Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living.

In order to provide the most vulnerable families in the region with aid, the LDSS will require an application to assess the eligibility requirements for emergency funds. Emergency needs are defined as food insecurity, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, diapers and wipes, baby formula, medical needs, rent or mortgage, and utilities.

The local department of social services will make payments to landlords, mortgage companies, medical providers, or other community organizations directly. Funds will not be given directly to individuals.

VDSS Commissioner S.Duke Storen stated, “We are thrilled to partner with United Way of Southwest Virginia to provide funding to meet the emergency needs of individuals and families who will benefit the most. It is our hope that these efforts will help provide our families and communities with the critical support needed during these challenging times.”

According to Travis Staton, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia, “We know that this crisis is putting thousands of individuals in our region in an economic and financial strain. Through this partnership, we are able to assist the most vulnerable citizens in our region and provide both immediate and long-term relief.”

Counties and cities to receive funding include: Bland County, Buchanan County, Carroll County, Dickenson County, Giles County, Grayson County, Lee County, Pulaski County, Russell County, Scott County, Smyth County, Tazewell County, Washington County, Wise County, Wythe County, Galax City and Norton City.