Bal­ti­more County ini­tia­tive con­nects needy res­i­dents to as­sis­tance

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE -

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Johnny Ol­szewski an­nounced a new ini­tia­tive to con­nect low to mod­er­ate in­come County res­i­dents with crit­i­cal fed­eral, state and lo­cal ben­e­fits. Res­i­dents can call 311 to be re­ferred to trained coun­selors for a com­pre­hen­sive screen­ing process.

The CASH Cam­paign of Mary­land, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes eco­nomic ad­vance­ment, will serve as the County’s lead part­ner for this ini­tia­tive.

“This pan­demic pro­vides un­for­tu­nate re­minders every day that too many of our res­i­dents are strug­gling, par­tic­u­larly those who have lost jobs or in­come,” Ol­szewski said. “This new ser­vice en­sures that our res­i­dents have a on­estop-shop to help them de­ter­mine which ben­e­fits might be avail­able to help them weather this cri­sis.”

The CASH Cam­paign of Mary­land is now of­fer­ing its ben­e­fits screen­ing and sup­port ser­vices to County res­i­dents. Call­ers to 311 can re­quest an ap­point­ment to re­ceive a con­fi­den­tial and cus­tom­ized screen­ing for over 20 dif­fer­ent ben­e­fit pro­grams to help them make ends meet and sup­port their fi­nan­cial fu­ture.

These pro­grams in­clude: Tem­po­rar y Cash As­sis­tance Tem­po­rary Dis­abil­ity As­sis­tance

SNAP (for­merly food stamps)

Med­i­caid

Women, In­fants and Chil­dren Pro­gram (WIC) Mar yland Util­ity As­sis­tance NeedyMeds (dis­count phar­macy pro­gram)

Dis­counted Cel­lu­lar and Lan­d­line Pro­grams

Mary­land Chil­dren’s Health Pro­gram

Child Care Sub­sidy Pro­gram

Child Sup­port Pay­ment In­cen­tive

Free and Re­duced Price School Meals

Head Start and Early Head Start

Renters and Home­own­ers Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit Earned In­come Tax Credit In­ter­ested res­i­dents should call 311 from 8 a.m. to 4:30

p.m. to be con­nected to CASH. A trained case man­ager will help call­ers com­plete an ap­pli­ca­tion and nav­i­gate the process to re­ceive the help they need.

CASH can also help County res­i­dents de­velop a plan to strengthen their eco­nomic sta­bil­ity through fi­nan­cial coach­ing and fi­nan­cial ed­u­ca­tion classes—all of­fered re­motely, by phone and for free. All con­ver­sa­tions with the CASH team are con­fi­den­tial.

“CASH is ex­cited to work with Bal­ti­more County more closely to en­sure that res­i­dents are get­ting con­nected to the re­sources and help they need. Many fam­i­lies are strug­gling to make ends meet as a re­sult of the eco­nomic im­pact of COVID-19 and get­ting the help they need can be re­ally over­whelm­ing,” said Sara John­son,

Co-Founder and COO of the CASH Cam­paign.

“CASH is here to be a guide. Our ben­e­fits ac­cess pro­gram is free and con­fi­den­tial, so we en­cour­age peo­ple to take ad­van­tage of this ser­vice. It’s re­ally en­cour­ag­ing to see County lead­er­ship and their teams work­ing to stream­line ac­cess to pro­grams like ours.”

The Ben­e­fits Screen­ing Call Cen­ter is the lat­est ef­fort by Bal­ti­more County to strengthen the safety net for fam­i­lies suf­fer­ing eco­nomic losses as a re­sult of the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Bal­ti­more County and Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools have dis­trib­uted more than four mil­lion meals to res­i­dents fac­ing food in­se­cu­rity since the be­gin­ning of the pan­demic. In ad­di­tion, Ol­szewski has com­mit­ted mil­lions for the County’s ef­forts to help res­i­dents avoid evic­tion.

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