United Way offering eviction help following end of federal moratorium

Pastor Horace Holmes and his wife went door to door on Labor Day on behalf of the United Way.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Pastor Horace Holmes and his wife went door to door on Labor Day on behalf of the United Way.

He says the One Macon Clergy Coalition is helping get the word out about services the United Way offers to keep people from getting evicted following the end of the federal eviction moratorium last month.

United Way says more than 500 evictions are filed in Macon, and local homeless shelters are full.

“We decided we cannot let this happen, we’re already in a pandemic,” Pastor Holmes said “We don’t need a pandemic here of homeless people in Macon.”

President and CEO of United Way of Central Georgia, George McCanless, says only about 20% of the money allocated for rental assistance from the pandemic has been used nationally. He says calling 211 can get struggling people in touch with those resources.

“Don’t lose the place that you’re staying over not having paid your back rent,” McCanless said. “There is the funding there to help not only with the rent but with the utilities.”

Pastor Holmes says local faith leaders will be working all week to knock on doors of potential evictees. We followed them for five door knocks on Monday and only one person answered. He says that person didn’t realize there were resources available.

If a person doesn’t answer the door, they leave their information for them taped on their door. He says they’re trying to help keep people’s dignity intact by helping them stay in their homes or apartments.

“I don’t think anybody doesn’t want to pay,” Holmes said. “They want to pay. They’re not looking for freebies. They’re just looking for a hand so they get a hand up and they can get back on their feet.”

Eviction hearings are slated to start Friday. For help with rent or utilities, call 211.

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