SPRINGFIELD TWP., Ohio (Feb. 15, 2023) — Just before Thanksgiving 2021, Mable Allen needed help paying her mortgage and utility bills. She turned to 513Relief.org, a Hamilton County program that draws on federal relief funds.
In March 2022, she received word that she had been approved for help with utility bills. But she was shocked at the amount of mortgage assistance: zero.
The reason, she soon learned, was that her mortgage company had failed to submit a required vendor form. Mable then repeatedly requested that the company complete the form, without success.
For Mable, a 67-year-old food service worker for Cincinnati Public Schools, it was another disheartening setback. In 2020, she lost her husband, a disabled military veteran, to leukemia. What's more, the pandemic had caused her to miss work.
When the mortgage company began foreclosure proceedings, Mable worried she would lose the Springfield Township home she and her husband bought in 2017. "I was very upset," she said, "because I felt like I had been doing everything I could to get help."
She had heard that United Way was helping people with emergency mortgage assistance applications. She called the United Way 211 Helpline.
Trained 211 care coordinators assess callers' needs and then make use of United Way's extensive, up-to-date database of local providers to connect callers to essential community resources. Care coordinators also are trained to help callers with applications for rent, mortgage and utility relief.
After calling 211, Mable connected with Rickie, a member of the Care Coordination team. Rickie contacted the mortgage company, which is headquartered in another state. He explained the mortgage assistance program and its requirements. Emails were exchanged over a period of months.
"Rickie hung in there and stood by me," Mable said. "He kept me informed of what he was doing. He did everything he could to get (the mortgage company) to understand what needed to be done so they could get paid."
Then one day in December, Rickie called Mable and told her the mortgage company had submitted the required form.
"I was so happy and so grateful," Mable said.
And she was even more elated in January after receiving word that her mortgage payments were current. Now, "I can get back on the right track."