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  • Jane O'Connor, Communications Intern

This week’s Congregation Spotlight highlights another one of our partner host congregations, Community United Methodist Church Huntington Beach, located in Huntington Beach, California. This congregation has been an active member of the Huntington Beach community since 1904. Their Senior Pastor, George Hooper, grew up practicing stories from the Bible and felt a calling and desire to serve in a leadership role. Through weekly services that include uplifting music, inspirational readings and practices learned from the Bible, Community members strive to feel a deep connection to one another and to God.

Members and guests of Community UMCHB also understand that “God has no hands and feet but our loving hands and feet.” The church generously supports a number of community outreach and world mission programs with their gifts and service, including Family Promise of Orange County! Howard Herdman serves as the Coordinator of the Family Promise outreach ministry at the church. Howard and his team of volunteers have helped establish a great ongoing partnership between Community United Methodist Church Huntington Beach and Family Promise of Orange County that we are very thankful for!

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  • Jane O'Connor, Communications Intern

Happy 4th of July! While the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be more in control as the number of cases continues to decrease, there are still lasting economic impacts due to the pandemic that will take much longer to get better. One of these major issues is the housing crisis in America.


Before the pandemic even started, lack of affordable housing was a prevalent issue in society. Specifically in California (and several other heavily populated states), residents had been forced to double-up in apartments and houses, or to have to find shelter on the streets due to the insane increase of prices that have occurred over the past few years (Source: nytimes.com). The high cost of housing has been a significant problem for several years and continues to have significance today.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an increase in unemployment rates, instability with living situations, and extra stress when caring for families. In a survey conducted in January of 2021, almost 20% of renters were behind on their payments (Source: ifstudies.org). Families, especially ones with school-aged children, had to make difficult decisions when it came to remaining safely housed. To help try to combat this crisis, Congress passed a COVID-19 economic relief bill that provided $25 billion to states and local governments to help them provide emergency rental assistance to those in need. (Source: ifstudies.org).


Here at Family Promise of Orange County we aim to raise awareness of the severity of the housing crisis in America, especially during this past pandemic year. We believe that all families deserve to be safely housed, so we work hard to ensure that the families we serve are able to live independently and happily!

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  • Jane O'Connor, Communications Intern

The California COVID-19 Rent Relief program is working to keep families housed by helping income-eligible households with rent and utilities, for both past due and future payments. Both renters and landlords can apply to receive help from this program.

  • Free financial assistance is available to landlords and renters who need help with unpaid or future rent or utilities.

  • Landlords and renters are both encouraged to apply.

  • Income-eligible applicants may qualify regardless of immigration status and will not be required to show proof of citizenship.

  • Assistance from the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program does NOT count as earned income (for renters) and will NOT affect eligibility for any other state benefit assistance programs, such as CalFresh or CalWORKS.

  • All applicant information is kept private and will not be shared.

  • Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Priority assistance will be given to income eligible households most at-risk of eviction.

  • Once an application has been successfully processed, both the landlord and renter will be notified of next steps.

START YOUR APPLICATION HERE:

https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/program_overview.html#renter


For any additional questions or concerns, including eligibility and application help, please call CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122.


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