Unite Sussex offers grants for rent and utilities

People needing assistance with their monthly bills can find some relief through a new Unite Sussex grant. Unite Sussex is a local program that brings together churches, charities and communities to help people find the resources they need. The new grant can help with rent, water, electric, oil or gas utility bills.

The Rev. Kim Tephabock of Dagsboro Church of God, who has spearheaded Unite Sussex, said a lot of work went into securing the grant money for Sussex County.

There are some specifications for applicants. For instance, people must demonstrate that they have applied to other agencies for help but have either received the maximum amount of funding or were denied assistance. The grant must also fully pay a person’s up-to-date obligation.

Homeowners are eligible for the grant, although it cannot be used to help with mortgage payments. Tephabock recommended those needing mortgage assistance contact the Delaware State Housing Authority.

Otherwise, the grant allows for many possibilities and can help people who have fallen behind on payments. Based on his conversations with municipalities, Tephabock said, people often fall behind on water bills, but there are few sources for assistance to pay those bills.

The grant, sponsored in part by United Way, grew from Unite Sussex’s mission to provide “real world assistance for the people of Sussex County,” Tephabock said.

Grant applications are due by Friday, April 13.

For more information, contact the Faith in Crisis Alleviation coordinator, Annette, Monday through Thursday, at (302) 732-6550, ext. 6. Applications are available online at www.unitesussex.wordpress.com or at the Dagsboro Church of God.