At a time when emergency support is critically important, the Sandy Springs city council approved a $25,000 emergency payment to the Community Assistance Center. Councilman Bauman brought the motion to the council.
Many of our neighbors are experiencing a sudden and unexpected hardship with businesses reducing hours and some actually closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Approving a $25,000 emergency assistance fund for the Community Assistance Center (CAC) will positively impact many who have suddenly found themselves without employment.
The city council took this step early, in what many are saying will be a multi-month process. This shows a necessary sensitivity to the crisis.
How CAC Helps
CAC provides emergency assistance to many of our neighbors with food, clothing, utility payments, and housing payments and more.
CAC has seen a 700% increase in calls for assistance due to the impact of the COVID-19 and loss of jobs — more than 125 calls are coming in daily from neighbors looking for help.
CAC volunteers and staff are working to perfect the online process as quickly as possible.
The Details of the Emergency Assistance Funds
The city’s funds are restricted to Sandy Springs residents only (the center serves both Sandy Springs and Dunwoody) and cannot be used for rent assistance, but can be used to purchase food and other necessities.
Our Conversation with the City
We want to encourage the city to clarify the requirement that the money may not be used for rent assistance. Rent assistance is one of the most important needs facing a growing portion of the city. To prevent these funds from offering this help is a missed opportunity.
When we asked about that stipulation, we learned the decision was based on a recent moratorium in the courts for holding eviction hearings — theoretically, no evictions will occur until the courts resume hearings.
However, there is also a lot of confusion about this.
We Want to Keep Our Residents Secure in Their Housing
We hope that the good intentions of the council’s actions will be realized and not lost in a technicality.
A “group of nine Georgia-based housing and legal scholars from Georgia Tech, Emory, and Georgia State University published a set of policy recommendations aimed at addressing urgent housing needs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.” You can read about that, here: https://bit.ly/3dHvypB
We hope that the council will look into these guidelines and make sure that our residents are secure in their housing, especially during this crisis.