The Roanoke County Department of Social Services launched a short-term financial assistance program Monday for people struggling to pay expenses due to COVID-19.
Roanoke County, Salem and Vinton residents can apply for funds to pay for utilities, car payments, car insurance, child care, food, funeral and medical expenses incurred between March and December.
The funding cannot be used to pay taxes, student loans or small business bills.
Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications can be found at roanokecountyva.gov/DSSCares.Completed forms may be faxed, mailed or dropped off at the social services department on Main Street in Salem.
Funding for the assistance program comes through the localities’ Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding. The CARES Act is intended to assist local and state governments with expenses that arose due to the pandemic and mandated closures.
Roanoke County received $8.2 million from the CARES Act. Salem received $2.2 million.
Both localities also created a small business assistance program. The county launched its program July 6. The grant awards range from $2,500 to $10,000 and are based on number of employees. Applications and more information can be found at yesroanoke.com.
Salem launched its program Monday and business owners can receive one-time grants of up to $5,000. The applications are available online at salemva.gov/departments/economic-development.
Total Action for Progress will offer assistance for rent or mortgage payments for people with a yearly household income less than $61,350.
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