Up & Coming Weekly

February 23, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 10 of 24

10 UCW FEBRUARY 24 - MARCH 2, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM NEWS Families needing rental assistance in Cumberland County and Fayetteville have several options avail- able to them. Charities, churches and government agencies provide routine assistance in the county. Services offered include shelter, section 8 housing choice vouchers, emergency rental help, low- income housing, and money for security deposits. e U.S. Treasury Department has awarded more than $10 million to the city of Fayetteville and Cumberland County to implement a local Emer- gency Rental Assistance Program. It's a significant part of the federal government's COVID-19 relief package. An agency is being sought to administer the pro- gram and provide direct services of the ERAP which are designed to assist families struggling to make rental and utility payments. Renters in North Caro- lina cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent. Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 91 extending the eviction moratorium through March 31. "Both the city and county have issued a joint request for proposal to locate a firm to administer this program because we are expecting an overwhelming num- ber of applications that will be beyond our current capacity to administer," said Cumberland County Community Development Director Dee Taylor. Once a firm is selected, a contract is expected to be executed in March or April. No less than 90 percent of the $10 million must be used for direct financial assistance, including rent, rental and utility arrears, utilities and home energy costs, and other expenses related to housing. Funds granted to the city and county generally expire on December 31, 2021. If you or someone you know needs rental, util- ity or other types of assistance, contact the Coordi- nated Entry Referral System at 910-479-4663. A housing referral specialist will conduct a pre- liminary needs assessment and refer the caller to the appropriate agency for assistance. Delays should be expected because of a high volume of inquiries. Income restrictions apply. In addition to the rental assistance program, the Low-Income Energy As- sistance Program administered by the Department of Social Services can help with utility bills. Applica- tions can be accessed at http://www.ccdssnc.com/ energy-assistance-programs or by contacting the DSS LIEAP message line at 910-677-2821 or DSS at 910-323-1540. An "eligible household" is defined as a rental household in which at least one or more individuals meet the following criteria: Qualifies for unemploy- ment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median. Households that include an individual who has been unemployed for the 90 days prior to application for assistance and households with income at or below 50 percent of the area median will be prioritized for assistance. Cumberland County is asking people who are in- terested in applying for grant money to gather some documents before submitting their applications. Applicants will need to provide proof of residency (driver's license or any other official document) and a copy of rental statement or lease agreement and/ or utility bills showing past due amounts. Applicants will also need to verify their household income and provide proof of financial hardship for the previous two months. COVID-19 rental assistance relief funding available by JEFF THOMPSON JULIE HAVLAK, Carolina Journal News Service. COMMENTS? editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Cape Fear Valley Health reinstates limited visitation a STAFF REPORT Recognizing that family members are an impor- tant part of a patient's care team, and given that the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the region are trending lower, Cape Fear Valley Health recently reopened its visitation policy. Effective Feb. 22, Cape Fear Valley Health will al- low for one visitor per day for most inpatients. Visi- tors, or "Care Companions," must wear masks at all times, and they must wear their masks correctly. Visitors will be screened with a brief verbal questionnaire and a temperature scan before be- ing allowed entry. ose who refuse to answer the questions or who have a temperature above 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit will be denied entry. Adult inpatients at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Hoke Hospital, Bladen County Hospital and Cape Fear Valley Rehabilitation Center may have one Care Companion during the hours of noon to 8 p.m. Long-Term Acute Care patients at Highsmith- Rainey Specialty Hospital remain unable to re- ceive visitors at this time due to the facility's highly vulnerable population. Outpatients at clinics should continue to arrive alone for appointments unless they require a healthcare decision maker or com- munication assistance. Other basic restrictions for Care Companions include: -Must not have tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive within the last 14 days. -Must be immediate family members or a desig- nated support person who is able to hear all private medical information. -Must be 16 years old or older, or 18 years old or older for the Behav- ioral Health Care Inpatient Unit. -Must sanitize hands before and after visitation. -Must follow all physical distanc- ing and hygiene guidelines Hospital visitors must stay in the patient's room during their entire visit, unless they are picking up food from the hospital cafeteria or leav- ing the hospital for the day. Visitors are not allowed in COVID-19 or isolation rooms. Labor and Delivery patients are allowed one Care Companion who may stay with them overnight and for the duration of their inpatient stay. Credentialed doulas may attend births as a secondary support person, but must leave following delivery. All Care Companions who leave the hospital will not be allowed to return until the next day. If a visi- tor does not follow all guidelines, they will be asked to leave. All Cape Fear Valley Emergency Departments continue to not allow Care Companions until a pa- tient is placed in a private treatment room. Visitors to the ED must wait in their vehicles until the patient is in a room. Some units, such as Cardiac Catheterization, Surgery, or Behavioral Health, may have further guidelines for Care Companions. A complete listing of visitor restrictions and guidelines throughout Cape Fear Valley Health can be found at www.capefearvalley.com. JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. More than $10 million has been awarded to the city of Fayetteville and Cumberland County to implement a local Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Cape Fear Valley Health recently reinstated its visitation policy. Visitors will be screened before entry and required to wear masks.

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