City allocates COVID funding for community services

Patti Dozier, Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Ga.
·2 min read

Feb. 16—THOMASVILLE — A Thomasville service organization will receive more than $200,000 in COVID-related funding to help prevent homelessness and other detrimental situations as a result of the pandemic.

Community Outreach Training Center (COTC) will receive $244,900.

Requests for proposals were sent to qualified community organizations, as well as placed on the City of Thomasville website.

Three organizations submitted proposals. A committee made up of two residents familiar with grants and a city financial service employee evaluated the proposals.

In addition to COTC, Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Club and Thomasville Community Resource Center submitted proposals.

Disbursements will be made in quarterly increments. A report about how the money is being used will be required a the end of each quarter.

The federal Coronavirus Aid & Relief Economic Security (CARES) funding is distributed in Georgia by the Governor's Office of Planning & Budget, said Ashley Cason, city chief financial officer.

"The proposals were based on merit," said Pam Schalk, city grants administrator. "It is not based on the amount (submitted), but on public benefit."

COTC's program will be available to people directly affected by COVID-19, with a focus on homeless prevention services that include mortgage, rental and utilities assistance.Efforts also will focus on providing personal protective equipment distribution of masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to eligible and vulnerable low to moderate income Thomasville families.

COTC will partner with other social service agencies for referrals and recommendations of residents in need of assistance, according to the proposal.

Pre-screening and application assistance will be provided for Thomasville residents. Four full-time staff members and one part-time administrative assistant will assist with processing applications.

Applicants for program must submit a copy of the following:

—Proof of disconnect for utilities assistance

—Eviction letter or notice

—Utilities bill in applicant's name only

—Unemployment documentation

—Termination letter/notice from employer

—State-issued ID/SS card

—Proof of income

—Pay stubs or SSI/SSD letter

COTC was established in 2011 to provide professional development and mentorship for low-income families and their children in Southwest Georgia.

The organization provided housing and homeless services to more than 2,000 clients in 2019.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820