Earlier in 2018, a family came to the Once Around Shop requesting Financial Assistance to prevent their Vectren from being disconnected. The husband was working two jobs, but was laid off from one and then offered a promotion at the other. Due to the gap at the end of the one job and the beginning of the pay for the promotion, this family was behind on numerous bills and had resorted to using several check advances to stay ahead.
Staff worked with the family to establish a budget to get their bills paid and to get out from under the check advance debt. Staff decided that in order to get this family back on the right track, Financial Assistance funds were used to pay the current month’s rent (the higher of the two bills) and food was given two times that month so that they could use their grocery money to prevent Vectren from being disconnected. For several months, they would come to the Food Pantry to meet their family’s food needs and used their grocery money towards paying off the cash advance loans. Many months passed and the family stopped coming to the Food Pantry for assistance but came in to the Once Around Shop as they realized they could buy quality clothing and household items for a great price which continued to help their budget.
The Financial Assistance program assists households facing an emergency that threatens their stability. Funds can be used to prevent eviction and/or utility disconnections but is not limited to these.
In 2018, Financial Assistance funds were used to prevent 32 households utilities from being disconnected and 13 households were not evicted.