'Up Front' Explores How to Help and Get Help During COVID-19 Crisis
Apr 14, 2020 05:18PM
By Jason Huddle
How to Help Others in the Midst of the COVI-19 Crisis
Welcome to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. A presentation of Cab Co Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, Code Ninjas, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus I'm Your Host, Jason Huddle. Welcome my friend s to Day 40 teenth of the Cove. It 19 restrictions. Still doing the podcast from home. I'm sure you're still listening from home if you're listening as this episode is new, but that doesn't stop us from bringing you the topics that you need to hear about. And what else is there to talk about? But Covert 19. But I don't want to give you a bunch of bad news. You guys get enough of that. I want to bring you some positive things today, And what's positive is people helping people. This week, I have invited onto the program at Ho Sack from Cooperative Christian Ministry. Now, believe it or not, even though you're sitting at home or that we're on restriction and you could only go out on a limited basis, there are some things that you can do to help others in the community. And if you need help, CCM has some programs for you. So I'm gonna let Ed tell you all about those programs today. And I hope that you are ready for some great uplifting information things to get you fired up. And for those of you that are sitting around with nothing to do, this will fill that gap. So I'm looking forward to bringing that to you, but not before we do shameless plug time. Believe it or not, these covert 19 restrictions will be over soon. And when they are, your kids are going to want to get out of the house right now at Kam Barris magazine dot com. Go check out our 2020 Cabrera's magazine Summer Camp Guide sponsored by Code Ninjas of Concord. This is a great resource for you to start planning some summer camps for your Children because I know I have Children, too, that you can't wait to give them the opportunity to get out of the house as well. So make sure that you check this out, start planning some summer camps, and by the way, if you know off a summer camp that needs to be added to our list. Please send it to us. You can email us at P as in Penny R, as in Robert at Cabrera's magazine dot com p r at Cabarrus magazine dot com. Please let us know and we will add it to our list is an ongoing up datable list, so it is not set in stone. If you know if something, please let us know. Also, if you see a camp that the plans have been altered a little bit or even been postponed, please let us know that as well. But the 2020 summer Camp Guide from compares magazine dot com is now online. Please go check it out and start planning today, and that is this week's shameless plug time. Theo. Nothing much more to say. We need to get to Ed Hosack from CCM. He's coming up right after the break. Stick around.
Welcome back to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. As we Mentioned at the beginning of the program, a lot of people right now are just seeking ways to help ways to contribute to their community. Because if you're sitting at home all day, every day and not really going out and not really doing anything, you start to lose that gainful employment feeling and it gets tough. Fortunately, there are ways for youto help in the community, and I have brought on today at Ho Zach. He is with the cooperative Christian Ministry of First of all, Ed. Thanks for coming on the program remotely. So Ed tell us about some things that first of all, tell us a little bit about cooperative Christian ministry and what you guys mission is what you guys do.
Sure, So cooperative Christian Ministry Most books in town would notice CCM Isa Crisis Assistance Provider and I've been in the community for over 38 years, meeting people in crisis and specifically financial crisis, providing under relief through our food pantries and other programs providing financial assistance, especially as it relates to rent and utilities to keep people in their homes. And then we have a continuum of housing programs to help those individuals and families who have become homeless and need to have a place where they could begin to regain stability.
So with that being said, what are you guys doing right now during this crisis? What are some programs that you have that are active?
Well, quite frankly, all active. However, we have some very strategic adjustments something the first time and and our history could be able to continue to serve the house and programs. Three housing programs continue to house families for being extremely careful in the community living environments at my father's house and the Mother's Children facility for single moms to care for those families. We have recently received another family of mom and two Children into my father's house, but we're working very close with an in house messages to monitor and guard those environments in the hunger relief areas with our food programs we switched over to a drive through model and our crisis are other. Eight. Satellite pantry scattered around compares count here, taking a very guarded and similar approach. But the Crisis Center, where we operate Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. We instituted a drive thru model primarily and initially we did around the first of March to guard families, adults and Children from having to congregate in the lobby and Philip the lobby at the Crisis Center. So the drive thru model is working. We are seeing about a 25% increase in volume we're seeing the average family size is around 3.6 and, of course compares counties. Average family size is about 2.8. For us, it's about a 15% increase in family size. So what that means is families with Children are feeling the struggle. We're also seeing to the drives your model about three times the rate of first timers, if you will, people that we're seeing for the very first time. So it's been a challenge and we continue to have staff and volunteers who are willing to be on the front line who are able to. From a health perspective on, we very much appreciate that we have nurses that are working with our staff and volunteers at the Crisis Center, just monitoring and making sure that we're doing everything we can to protect those were serving and those who are serving alongside of us. So we're very pleased. Course volunteers is a key. We need volunteers to help us continue doing that. Right now we can see the threat of running out of food, but we're working very hard with some ideas on how to get the groceries in there. In the financial assistance area, we've changed our model, which is a face to face interview counseling with individual households, to an online model where folks can apply online for financial assistance and we're certainly seeing need there as well. We have received some very limited amount of crisis relief funds, and we've adapted a set of guidelines to address the current situation, which allows us to do a little bit more than normal with financial assistance. And we're looking forward to some relief funds that will be coming through the compares Community foundation, perhaps early next week. Right now, the activity that we are seeing through this model. We're anticipating allocating about $20,000 a week for the next five weeks to help people primarily with rent or mortgage payments, but also the potential heirs help with utilities as well.
So I want to kind of back up a little bit on some things you touched on, first of all, with my father's house, which, as you mentioned, is a house, four victims of homelessness or victims of domestic violence. I had read recently that calls regarding domestic violence have gone up since the restrictions have been put in place. This is countrywide, not just in comparison county or anything like that, but this is across the country. Is that something that you guys were seeing as well? You mentioned that you had to receive a family this week. In fact,
yes, well, let me let me clarify. First of all, that compares County for the folks that air directly serving domestic violence or her folks. It's even on. They do an excellent job, but that often women and their Children who leave the CV and program are able to come into our house and continuing through my father's house. But we do receive some directly. We do know that two parent families that are experiencing this crisis in some ways are seeing a tremendous stressors on the family. Uh, yes. Um, the national statistics indicate that that that's an issue. And it's one that we're gonna deal with now for
In regards to the food pantry. You said that you guys are looking at a shortage on the horizon, but you're coming up with some creative ways to deal with that. First of all, what are those creative ways? And is there a way for the public to help you?
Absolutely. Even under normal operating conditions, community donations, food drives and individual households and businesses that make donations are a significant part of the food that we distribute. But we have always had to purchase some food items just to fill in the gaps, either through Second Harvest or directly through grocery stores. That's true today. There are individuals of families who are still contributing groceries, donating groceries and dropping them off at the crisis center. Presently, grocery stores are not in a position to sell bulk, even in retail pricing, to our food pantry to other food pantries. They're challenged with their own supply chain and keeping their shelves full. So that is creating the need for us to thio be more creative and to get the word out. Right now, we're working with neighborhood groups and developments, asking developments to consider organizing through their home our associations or whatever food drive and doing it in a way that it maintains social distancing. So we will agree to park one of our trucks or vans in their neighborhood doors open, leave it there for a couple of hours and figuratively speaking, come back in a couple hours and pick it up and during that period of time, encouraging them just tow stop by but some groceries in it and going around. That's one thing that's catching on right now, so we're already scheduling times to put one of our trucks or vans in neighborhoods. We're also working on an idea that we hope to push out today that really came out of Versed in Matthew's Gospel 9 38 it says, uh, the harvest is plentiful, but workers a few asked the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers 37 38 we are working on asking members of the community two go shopping for us and take our shopping list off the website. Go into a grocery store and buy the limit. Whatever they let you by and on that list and bring it to us with a receipt and we'll pay you, uh, receipt.
How about that?
simply because simply because we cannot purchase bulk from them right now. So we're excited about that. We're hoping especially a lot of these young folks who, uh, who were looking for something to do who don't mind going to the grocery store right now and don't feel it risk to do that to be willing. Thio, go be a, uh what? I'm calling a mission. 938 I know the, uh, a shopper for us right now, so we're gonna find a way to keep groceries in our pantry and keep serving. There's a couple of entities that are working with us. Cisco has agreed to help us purchase through them some items, and we hope to do that within the next few days. So we're gonna be creative and trust that we're going to keep this plane.
That is an incredible program, and I can't wait to talk to you in a few weeks about the success of it, because I think it's gonna be tremendously successful. But right now I have to cut to break. When we come back. I want to talk about the financial assistance program and also the I love my City program. That usually starts off with a lot of fanfare in April every year, and this year it's gonna be a little bit different, but it's still happening. So we're gonna talk about that on the other side. You guys stay tuned. We'll be right back.back. There are three powerful things you need to know about your financial future. One. The mutual fund companies and financial industry at large is gambling with your money, and you don't even know it to. Most people think they're diversified, but at some level they are not. And three the media overwhelms us and creates financial confusion. Keith Lakes and Family Wealth Partners has been helping his client's navigate through the fog and gain financial clarity for almost 25 years. Now you schedule your free no obligation appointment with keen to discuss your financial goals and how to achieve visit F w concorde dot com slash contact To scuttle your appointment today. Sometimes life can leave you with more questions than answers. That's why things like true friendship and hope are so important. My name is Gabby, and I want to invite you to my church. New Hope Worship Center Located on Brooklyn Avenue across from Concord High School, New Hope Worship Center is a great place for families for young adults. And for those looking for answers to life's biggest questions, visit us at New Hope, w c dot org's for service times and details. That's new hope. W c dot org Work may have stopped for some, but that doesn't mean maintenance and care of your vehicle isn't still of the utmost importance. Cirtek Automotive wants you to know they're still here to serve you in this difficult time. Open by appointment only. Cirtek wants to ensure you they're taking every precaution when it comes to your safety and of their employees by using steering will and seat covers on every job. They're located at 22 03 Roxy Street in Kannapolis, Remember, Cirtek is only open by appointment. Text them at 7049354447 Cirtek Automotive, where service is done right. Wear
We're here once again with Ed Hosack from Cooperative Christian Ministry CCM, and we talked in the first segment about the food program and my father's house, and Ed was talking about a partnership in the first segment with the Cabarrus County Community Foundation to help provide financial assistance for some people in need right now. And once you tell us about that,
sure, there are members of our community who have taken the initiative to create a crisis response fund through the foundation of the Carolinas and the Harris County Community Foundation to make money is available to organizations like Robert Christian Ministry who are providing financial relief during this period of time. CCM provides this service on a regular basis. We're in a position to do this similar to back in 2003 when we experienced the closing of the textile mill. But for this particular circumstance, we've created a set of guidelines that are gonna help us to help families make it through the next month as they anticipate her or they try to anticipate how this is going to impact them financially in the long run.
So let me ask you a couple questions regarding that. First of all, I think you mentioned the first segment. You're anticipating about $20,000 per week for the assistance. First of all, what is a qualifier to get that money? What are some things that you need to come prepared with if you're going to request anything? And secondly, is there another way for people who do have the means to contribute to that fund?
Absolutely. The foundation for the Carolinas in the Careers County Community Foundation has made it possible for folks to donate to that fund online. I don't have the information, but if they will searched the committee's county community foundation, they should be able to find that information fairly readily. We'll make it available on our website. A CZ quickly is We could do that today. The way to apply for that assistance right now is on line to go to our website, fill out the application, huh? We're not. The crisis in itself is not receiving the public in the door, so you go online. There's a series of questions there were going to try to understand the nature of your crisis. We still have our traditional model, which simply says if you're in a financial crisis, we can assist you even if it's not related to obviously the Corona virus. But right now, the vast majority of households were experiencing some strain that is directly related to the crisis. We are able to help in areas of rent assistance or mortgage assistance or utility bills. We also are able to help with medications, especially lifesaving medication and some critical transportation. Although we're not seeing certainly much of that right now. One of the things that we're experiencing right now is applications from members of our community who are not accustomed to asking for assistance, and they're not accustomed to being late on their rent. And so we're under normal circumstances. We might be experiencing folks who who's serving folks who have received a cutoff notice or late notice or even an eviction notice. We're receiving applications and requests from individuals who are saying, You know, I've been laid off from work. I am not going to be able to pay my rent this week or next week when it's already late and asking for help to avoid being late or to address the fact that they're going to be late, they're being proactive, and we're doing our best to be ableto hope, help those individuals as well. Currently, there is a stay on evictions, and currently the utility companies have established that they're not going to cut folks off that those arrears air not gonna go away. And so we're establishing with those individual households where they have been employment wise, where they stand right now with their household expenses, look like what their household income looks like. That the burdens that they're carrying and making determination when we can help these individual families primarily with random right now to give them relief from the current stressor and opportunity to plan, perhaps, how they may handle the stimulus relief that they're going to receive or how they're going to manage on what might, depending unemployment benefits assed, they go forward.
Let's talk in the final few minutes that we have together. Ed, Let's talk about the I love my City project. We actually featured this in comparison magazine. I believe back in February of last year or the year before, right? Can't remember after 20 years obstructive to melt together, But this is a great community wide project that's basically just engineered to get people to get out and help each other. That's what the whole premise is. And he usually starts off with a big fanfare. It C Max Dragway, sponsored by Cook, was a huge party. And then everybody starts to do their projects. Obviously, this year that can't happen. So tell us a little bit about how this project has morphed this year, and you're adapting but still able to send people out.
That's right, thank you. So I love my city. Weekend has been a tremendous event with wonderful community response for the last several years, but we were already beginning to see that folks wanted to extend beyond a weekend. So as we're approaching this year, little did we realized the opportunity ahead. But nevertheless we were beginning to look at ways to broaden it. Well, what occurred to us a week ago was to initiate the I love my City 30 day challenge so that we're challenging our community individuals, families and small groups to look for those ways those simple those small even in secret, as in anonymously reaching out to do something do something that encourages something that serves something that we need in their community, their next door neighbor, the person across the street. Or maybe somebody they don't even know and then share that experience enthusiastically, either by posting it on Facebook, are acknowledging on the Isle of my City project dot com website, which is a place they can go for ideas. And let's pardon the pun be contagious in that way to send this spirit throughout the community during a time when folks need it most. I would tell you that right now, the most vulnerable in the community are going to be those single parents, mostly moms who have two or three Children in the home right now. The senior adults and low fixed income individuals, perhaps on disability, and the two parent families whose income has been reduced significantly. There's folks with Children in the home, not on Lee are struggling to feed those Children whose dumb you seem to constantly need something, but also to give them constructive activity. Right now, Ah, mom might find herself trying to be substitute teacher for 1/3 grader, 1/6 grader and an eighth grader like one of my daughters, so she's got her hands for. There's low fixed income folks often will balance their monthly income with some of the community meal programs that are currently curtailed throughout the community. So they, too, are struggling not only with groceries but with isolation, because those community meal programs were also for many of them, their social activity. So we have challenges to help these individual families, and we're seeing some great creativity come out of all of this. In addition to being able to donate food or to be to help us get food in the pantries or to donate financially to make sure we help meet these needs or even to go out and volunteer on the front line. If you are in a position to do that and deliver those essential service, is there so much Maur that people can do? I imagine that you've got a big backyard or a playground back there, and your grandkids are not able to come visit right now. But a single mom across the street with a single mom who goes to your church Thio offer her your backyard for two hours to come and let her Children just where themselves out, if you will. Playing in your backyard with a ball or on the playground is a way to help that mother get through. One day it will make a difference for Imagine picking up groceries or delivering a meal to a senior. We're seeing that right now Watching TV Screen time is not necessarily the answer, but to a single mom. It's two hours where perhaps she can just get something done or calling a senior. And if they have the ability to to play a movie offered alone them one of your classics, it could be a simple as setting aside 30 minutes calling an elderly person and listening for 30 minutes to replace some of that social time that they are missing. I'll tell you a great idea that I heard in it where it can work for Children as well as for seniors, um, elderly person in your neighborhood, for instance, and you know, by experience or just by driving by that they love to put flowers in their beds. But right now they're not leaving their home. So stop at the garden centre when you're out shopping, dropped by ah, little tray of annuals and a couple of things that they might need and leave a note and let him know that you've left him a little something that they can step out in their yard and plant a few things or drop off a potted plant or hanging basket for them to care for and talk to for during this period of time. There are so many things that folks can do and are doing, and we're loving what we're hearing from the creativity. It's out there, and everyone can do it, just sort of putting themselves in the in the position of the individuals who are struggling and asking themselves what would make a difference for this person or for that person.
All, great ideas. And certainly the point you make is it doesn't matter your physical ability. There are ways that you can help, even if it's as you said. This simple is taking some time out to read to, ah, a senior member of the community who maybe doesn't have any companionship, where has limited companionship. So all great points ed real quick. I have to let you go, but real quick if anybody needs any information on these programs, whether it be the My father's house or the pantry or the financial assistance or I love my city. Where can they go and get more information?
The best place to get the information and to contact us and get a response right now would be our website. And that's cooperative ministry dot com Cooperative Ministry. (One word) dot com
Perfect. And we'll put that in the show notes as well for our listeners. Ed Ho Zack with cooperative Christian Ministry CCM Thank you so much for coming on the program today, letting us know ways we can help and get help if we need it.
Well, you're welcome. Thank you, Jason, for helping us reach out to the community.
My pleasure. You guys stick around. We're going to wrap up the show on the other side of this break. Stay tuned.
Once again, I want to thank you for coming onto the program today. He is a great source of information, and we appreciate everything that C. C. M is doing out there to better our community and to take care of people. If you need those service is, please don't let pride get in the way of providing for your family and getting your basic needs taken care off. Go call CCM. Get these things taking care of. And if you are in a position where you can help others, please do that. If you can't, don't feel guilty. But if you can, there are ways to help, as had talked about today. If you're like me and you still have a job, but you're working from home, it wears a bit, and sometimes you're looking for tips and tricks on how to do that better. Next week we have an expert, Tom Cooper. He is going to be on the program and talk to you about ways that you can work from home effectively. So if you are operating a business or working for a business from home, you're going to want to tune in next week. So make sure you do that. Guys, we ran a little bit long this week, so I'm not going to go on some kind of diatribe. I just want to encourage you. Please stay safe. Stay healthy. Do not go out if you don't have to. Believe me, that's not my choice, either. But if we can all adhere to that now, maybe we can get out of the sooner and get back to our normal lives as quickly as possible. Once again, I want to thank our sponsors. Atlantic A mortgage group Cabrera, Serena and Events Center Cabrera's I Center, Sir Check Automotive Code in Inches, Concorde Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope, Worship Center and welcome Berus. Please remember more than ever to support those that support us. I've been your host, Jason Huddle until next week. Go find somebody to help