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United Way offers help to families
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SAVANNAH — Through the Georgia Fresh Start program, United Way of the Coastal Empire partnered with the Salvation Army to provide more than $300,000 in financial assistance to more than 900 people in Liberty, Bryan and Chatham counties. This one-time financial crisis assistance, up to $3,000 per household, was distributed to low-income families facing critical situations due to a loss of income or unfortunate economic circumstances.   
The Georgia Fresh Start program, which ended last month, was led by the Department of Human Services and United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, in partnership with United Way of the Coastal Empire and the Salvation Army, and was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It was designed to give needy families a one-time crisis assistance payment of up to $3,000 for housing and utilities including foreclosure, demand for possession, dispossessory, eviction notice, shut-off or past due notice for utilities or utilities turned off.
“Fresh Start is not a cure, but in critical situations where many families had their utilities interrupted or were at risk for losing their housing, a little help could make a big difference.  It’s a critical first step in preventing a desperate situation for many families in our community,” said Trudy Jones, 2-1-1 Director of United Way of the Coastal Empire.
United Way of the Coastal Empire worked with the Salvation Army to identify eligible families. Financial assistance was paid directly to vendors to repay and reactivate utility shut-offs, mortgage foreclosures and evictions for rent arrearages.
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