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Front Page » Business & Finance » United Way Miami exhausts relief funds

United Way Miami exhausts relief funds

Written by on January 5, 2021
United Way Miami exhausts relief funds

The United Way of Miami-Dade has exhausted its Miami-Dade Pandemic Assistance Program federal relief funds of $30.96 million, allocating it to more than 59,720 people who were significantly impacted by the pandemic. 

Since the launch of the pandemic assistance program in early August, United Way has distributed almost $29 million of Miami-Dade County Cares Act funds to more than 18,500 households.

“There are still a couple of hundred eligible applications that are pending, but as of now, we don’t have any more funds,” said Vanessa Benavides, United Way’s associate vice president. “We don’t want to deny them yet, just in case an opportunity arises and potential funds become available.”

The pandemic assistance program is aimed to help ALICE* (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) individuals and families impacted by the lingering Covid-19 crisis. Relief funds can be used for basic living expenses such as food, utilities, childcare, medical expenses and rental assistance, among others. Depending on household size and income, individuals were eligible for up to $1,000 and families of three or more could receive up to $2,000.

The nonprofit organization had to temporarily pause the application submission process twice, once in August and again in November, to carefully review submissions for proper documentation, any duplications and missing information. Once the review process was completed, application submissions reopened on the organization’s website until all remaining funds were exhausted. 

With five out of 10 households in Miami-Dade County living in, or one emergency away from, poverty, the pandemic has exacerbated an already difficult situation for ALICE* individuals and families, United Way officials say. 

Half of the community is always struggling even at the best of times, and with this crisis it is dealing with families who never struggled before and are now asking for help, while families who are used to the challenges have their own coping skills and are in survival mode, Ms. Benavides said.

Along with the distribution of federal relief funds, United Way has been providing emergency assistance and relief during the pandemic since mid-March through its Miami Pandemic Response Fund, raising $3.7 million to help individuals, families and small businesses impacted by Covid-19.

“There’s no clear plans in sight with businesses opening and closing. People can’t even plan ahead of time,” Ms. Benavides added. “I think there’s a desperation that is setting in, which is evident with the many calls coming in at our offices. This pandemic is not only impacting people’s physical health but mental as well. We need to stick together as a community and get through this.”

7 Responses to United Way Miami exhausts relief funds

  1. Grady Muhammad

    January 17, 2021 at 10:33 am

    There should be an Independent Audit of these Gov. funds & the private funds raised by United way. People needs to see if thoze in leadership walk away with Bonuses

  2. Teandra Williams

    January 18, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Hi I’m in need of assistance I’m behind over 3,000$ in my water bill I’m a single mother of 5 kids i have been trying to get help but found nothing if you guys can please help me.

  3. Janine Williams

    January 20, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    Hi my name is Janine Williams I’m 3 months behind in my rent is there any other programs that can assist me

  4. Cynthia Dawson

    January 29, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Cynthia Dawson I applied and was turned down I live alone living off of unemployment behind in bills. I received the email on Dec 14 sent in my tax return the same day. I want to know why I was denied

  5. Sharona Middlebrooks

    January 30, 2021 at 3:17 am

    Hello I applied for assistance and was denied because of the area I live because I was told it was unincorporated Miami Dade County and that shouldn’t be considered if we all living in the state of Florida everybody in America has been effected by the this pandemic with our bill and health I tested positive with COVID19 and was out of work for over 2 months and my bills got behind and I was threatened with and eviction from my landlord who wouldn’t fix the water heater in my home with busted and me and my family had to live in unfair conditions and didn’t have hot running water for months and he never fixed the water heater so I had to take every penny I had and rush and find shelter for my family while being sick and not wanting to be put on the streets while fighting for my life with the virus and I didn’t have funds to cover my rent but I was denied because the property is located in unincorporated Miami Dade county I can’t help where my apartment complex is located I need help like everybody else so if there’s help out there for families please help everybody who’s in need and is anybody I can speak with please contact me my email address is
    Phone number 7862693968

  6. Elaine Gonzalez

    February 11, 2021 at 9:12 am

    For the first time in my life I’m on unemployment and just couldn’t keep up with rent, I applied for erap and after waiting 3 months they said no more funds, my landlord hasn’t evicted me because I’ve been here 20 years, but her patience is running out” I owe rent from October 2019, where can I get help?

  7. Noel

    March 3, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    When will you guys be opening back up