Karidat to extend rental assistance to some people affected by economic downturn

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THE Catholic Charities USA has allowed the church-based charitable organization, Karidat Social Services, to use a grant amounting to $233,948 in assisting families affected by the economic downturn as a result of the global Covid-19 outbreak.

Lauri Ogumoro

In an interview, Karidat executive director Lauri Ogumoro said the grant primarily aims to assist families whose houses sustained severe damage when Super Typhoon Yutu hit Saipan and Tinian in Oct. 2018.

The program provides rental assistance to these families.

“We have reached out to Catholic Charities USA, which gave us the grant for Typhoon Yutu rental assistance. We told them this [the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak] is another disaster on top of Yutu. So they are allowing us to extend the rental assistance program to people who need help with rent.”

Ogumoro said applicants have to prove that they have lost income because they been laid off or furloughed or their work hours have been cut. “They have to bring letters from their employers,” she added.

Those who have already received rental assistance for Yutu can no longer apply for it again.

She added the rental assistance program are for those who were not able to avail themselves of federal assistance.

Ogumoro said Karidat likewise applied for another grant from Catholic Charities USA to help support Karidat’s food pantry.

She said their emergency food and shelter funding will expire on March 31.

Each month, she said, Karidat serves an average of 250 individuals and families. “But so far, in the last seven days, we’ve served over 500 people already.”

She said the number of people seeking assistance started to increase in the beginning of February when flights from China stopped and work hours were reduced.

Most of the people who requested assistance worked in the tourism industry, Ogumoro added.

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