Utility assistance calls to Trident United Way’s 211 resource line increase 300% in early June with ending of utility shut-off and eviction moratorium

TUW asks for patience on all sides as effects of COVID-19 continue to hurt the Tri-County

Trident United Way is seeing a dramatic increase for utility assistance requests as the moratorium on evictions and utility shut-offs has recently ended. The state moratorium on evictions expired on May 15 and utility shut-offs were recently re-instated.

Daily utility service assistance referrals in the first two weeks of June 2020 shot up 300% compared with May 2020 and 619% compared with April 2020. This is likely a sign that with bills coming due, people are seeking out help. Utility requests to SC211.org statewide have gone up 30% for June 2020.

Trident United Way urges people who are struggling to make payments reach out to their providers and work out a payment plan as clients will eventually be held liable for unpaid housing and utility bills.

Click the link below for downloadable soundbites from Cathy Easley/Trident United Way Director of Integrated Community Systems

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yfpdmsec2ngtcuh/CathyEasley-Utilities.mp4?dl=0

SOUNDBITE #1 “The utility spike this month is huge, much bigger than we anticipated it would be, so people who have not been working have not been able to pay their utility bill.” :12

SOUDBITE #2 (Projecting #’s for later this summer) “We have a huge spike because of the weather around here in July and August normally, so that could contribute as we get further into summer.” :11

Tri-County utility assistance requests to 211

  • Last 2 weeks of May: 274
  • First 2 weeks of June: 872

Donations to Trident United Way are needed more than ever with the growing utility needs. Click here to help your neighbors in need.

Trident United Way has a variety of ways to help, including the 211 resource line along with Resource Connection Centers in Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.

Some families will still be protected under the federal CARES Act, which says families renting from owners who have a federally insured mortgage, families who live in subsidized housing or receive federally subsidized vouchers cannot be evicted through August 24.

Utility assistance is also available through the South Carolina office of Economic Opportunity.

Other helpful links: