A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN BRISTOL TN AND BRISTOL VA
United Way of Bristol TN/VA announced a new partnership with the Cities of Bristol, TN and Bristol, VA to help families affected by COVID-19.
United Way of Bristol will administer the CARES grant dollars to help residents of Bristol, TN and Bristol, VA with their utility bills (electric, sewer, water, gas, etc.). Lisa Cofer, Executive Director of the United Way of Bristol said, “Many times when families have fallen behind on their bills, assistance from one agency is not enough to stabilize their family and this will allow us to be an additional resource to help them do that.”
Residents in need may call the United Way of Bristol office any time between 8:30 and 5:00 Monday through Friday. Each family must have been affected by COVID-19 and will need to complete an application and provide documentation needed to qualify for help.
This partnership was made possible through an additional round of Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus funding to both the City of Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia as part of the CARES Act. Bristol TN City staff presented a proposal to the city’s Community Development Advisory Committee to deploy these funds through a partnership with United Way of Bristol. Committee members passed a recommended set of program guidelines, which were then formally adopted by the Bristol, Tennessee City Council through an amendment to the city’s CDBG action plan for 2019-2020
“For years, the United Way of Bristol has been one of our most valued partners in bridging gaps for the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Bristol, Tennessee Mayor Mahlon Luttrell. “With so many Bristol families experiencing unprecedented economic hardship, we feel that leveraging the experience and dedication of the United Way is the most efficient way to put these dollars to work in service of our friends and neighbors who need it most.”
The City of Bristol Virginia obtained approval from its City Council on November 24, 2020 to utilize these funds to assist its residents. Prior to this partnership, Bristol City Manager, Randall Eads, had been seeking a source of financial resources to assist its residents with overdue utility bills during the pandemic which led to its 2nd round of CDBG-CV monies being allocated for this partnership. “The City’s first priority is always its residents. Partnering with United Way of Bristol to distribute these funds is a win for everyone. United Way of Bristol is best positioned to distribute these funds as they have been front and center helping our vulnerable populations throughout this pandemic.”
United Way of Bristol brings people and resources together to advance the common good by focusing on education, health, income, basic needs and safety net services. United Way of Bristol’s goal is to create long-lasting changes to prevent problems before they occur.
Who is eligible?
- Must be a resident of the Cities of Bristol, TN or VA
- Must be low-moderate income
- Must have been affected by COVID-19 (job loss, reduction of hours, etc.)
- Must have used other resources for help (Bristol Faith in Action and Salvation Army)