United Way of Eastern Iowa announces $500,000 derecho-damage program

(Cedar Rapids, IA) -- United Way of Eastern Iowa is announcing a new $500,000 program to help those impacted by the derecho, make home repairs. The United Way, Alliant energy, and the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation are announcing a program called Providing Assistance to Community Homeowners (PATCH).

Spokesperson Kristin Roberts says non-profits working to address housing needs of Linn County residents will award grants.

“We have a significant and immediate need for home repairs,” said Les Garner, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. “We also have local organizations that are equipped to address these concerns and we’re working together to get the resources where they are needed.”

Residents can access the program by calling Waypoint at 319-366-7999.

Roberts says displaced renters will be referred to the rental assistance program or, if facing homelessness, entered into the centralized intake system. Homeowners will be referred to organizations based on their needs. Income guidelines will determine who qualifies to receive support.

Repair work will be coordinated by Matthew 25, which has extensive experience in home repair and construction. Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP) and Iowa Legal Aid will provide assistance with FEMA applications, insurance claims, or other legal needs.

“We know that a lot of financially strapped homeowners have immediate needs for patching roofs and getting ready for winter,” said Clint Twedt-Ball, Executive Director of Matthew 25 in Cedar Rapids. “Since the flood of 2008, Matthew 25 has supported the rehabilitation of more than three-hundred homes. The PATCH program continues this critical work. We appreciate the support from the local funders to come together quickly to help address this challenge.”

Volunteers and contractors interested in helping with PATCH are asked to call Matthew 25 at 319-362-2214. More information can be found at www.hub25.org/patch.

(Photo from KCRG-TV 9)

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