United, We Can

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One Example of How COVID Relief is Making a Difference

A single mother and her children were the beneficiaries of a grant to Heart House.
July 2, 2021

GREENDALE, Ind. (July 2, 2021) - In the third quarter of 2020, United Way of Greater Cincinnati Southeast Indiana awarded $121,000 to nine Southeast Indiana nonprofits to help residents meet basic needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief was made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. and a partnership with Indiana United Ways, a state professional organization. This is the story of how one family benefited:

She’s a single mother with three young children. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, late in 2020 she lost her restaurant management job and then her southwest Ohio apartment. The mother and children then lived out of their car as they looked for a homeless shelter.

They eventually made their way to Heart House, a United Way-sponsored shelter for single adults and families in Aurora, Indiana. Craig Beckley, who soon will retire as executive director, said its mission is “restoring people’s hope and lives, like United Way does.” The mother and children were offered a room at Heart House just before Christmas.

Within a week or two, the mother was hired by a Northern Kentucky warehouse. She paid Heart House residents to watch her children. And with her situation improving, the mother found an apartment in Indiana, and she and her children moved in.

All was well until the Heart House residents providing the child care secured jobs for themselves. With no one to care for her children, the mother quit her job. Her family again faced the possibility of being homeless.

Shortly thereafter, Heart House received COVID-19 relief funding from United Way’s Southeast Indiana office. Heart House used some of that money to pay the mother’s apartment expenses through July. “It was a godsend,” Beckley said. In August, when school and Head Start begin, the mother will no longer need child care for her two older children. Then when she secures child care for her 2-year-old, the mother can become fully employed. “She’s anxious to work,” Beckley said.

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