United Way of the Plains is now taking appointments this week through Sept. 25 for its Help Center’s October session. The center will assist individuals who have been laid-off or furloughed or self-employed individuals whose personal income has been severely affected by the pandemic or aviation-related layoffs.

To set up an appointment, individuals must call United Way’s information line by dialing 2-1-1, Mon. –Fri., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. this week through Sept. 25. United Way 211 is available 24/7 for other calls, but appointments for the Help Center must be made during these hours.

Everyone who calls for an appointment through Sept. 25 and meets requirements will receive an appointment for the session that starts Oct. 5. The center will be open on a monthly basis as long as funds are available.

To qualify for help through the Help Center, individuals must:

  • Pre-register by calling United Way’s information line by dialing 2-1-1.
  • Have been laid-off, furloughed and approved for unemployment compensation between July 1, 2019 and the present (not fired, quit, or on paid medical leave), or are self-employed and whose personal income has been severely affected by the pandemic. The individual’s job or business was/is in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner or Cowley counties or individual lives in those counties.
  • Show that they have emergency financial needs and have insufficient personal resources to adequately provide shelter and food.

 Services at the Help Center will include:

  • Emergency financial assistance (utilities and shelter). Checks will be written directly to the landlord, bank or utility company. There is no cash on premises.
  • Food assistance from Kansas Food Bank.
  • Budget and debt management counseling from Consumer Credit Counseling Service.
  • Arrangements for utility bill payment plans.

The Help Center will implement pandemic safety measures, including: face masks required for all entering the building, limiting the number of people in the building at one time, social distancing, disinfectant wipe-downs, etc.

The United Way Help Center facility is being provided by Ascension Via Christi. Operational assistance is being provided by Catholic Charities. Financial assistance through the Help Center is being provided by United Way of the Plains’ Pandemic Fund which is receiving money from individuals and organizations. The Pandemic Fund can still be given to online at www.unitedwayplains.org/pandemicfund or checks with “Pandemic Fund” in the memo can be sent to United Way of the Plains, 245 N. Water St., Wichita, KS 67202.

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