Guilford Cares launching new outreach for rental, utility assistance

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — The Guilford County Department of Social Services is launching new outreach campaigns to spread the word about Guilford Cares, which is a rental and utility assistance program. 

According to DSS Economic Services Program Manager Charita Sutton, the agency has spent about $1.5 million out of about $8 million in the total fund. 

Sutton said allocations have to be spent before the end of the year. She believes the need for assistance is still here, but awareness of the program is low. 

DSS plans to put up fliers in YMCAs, libraries and apartment complexes to continue spreading the word about the program, particularly among those without access to social media. 

She said staff members will go door to door if needed. 

“We’re open to businesses calling us and asking us to come out if they have residents that would like us to come out and doing (applications) face to face. We’re open to coming by and picking up applications,” Sutton explained. 

In Guilford County, there are 810 cases under the program. 709 of them are processed. Sutton said 101 applications are still pending. 

Nikki Tarpley and her family applied for utility assistance under the program in February. Tarpley said when daycares closed, she was forced to stay home with her daughter.  

“There for a while, you had to pay back pay for COVID, and it was like two bills per month,” she said. “We’re not in desperate need at the time, but every little bit helps.” 

Sutton said there are applications from Jamestown and Gibsonville, but the highest application rate is in High Point. 

To apply for rental or utility assistance in Guilford County, visit Guilfordcountync.gov or call (336) 641-3000.

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