The Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men (CHUMM) have recently started a program to provide financial assistance to individuals and families who have suffered a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance will be provided for rent or mortgage payments and utility payments, and access will also be provided to the Buxton food pantry.
In order to receive assistance, applicants will need to be screened by Dare County Social Services. This can be done by calling 252-475-9320 and requesting a phone interview with the case manager at the Frisco office. Residents who qualify for unemployment compensation are urged to seek that remedy first, before contacting Social Services.
CHUMM obtain a COVID 19 Rapid Response grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation (OBCF) with $15,000 initial funding for Hatteras Island. OBCF plans to continue providing grants as their effectiveness is demonstrated. Per an emailed update, CHUMM will use it to help those facing financial hardship as a result of unemployment, after all other sources of help have been exhausted.
“We’re continuing with our normal emergency assistance partnership with Dare Social Services,” said Director Dennis Carrol in an emailed update. “We’re working on our 42nd year of service, including 30 years for our Food Pantry, which currently has enough supplies, at least for the short term. Ray and Claire Schaaf have operated it continuously for the past 20 years. We’re deeply grateful for these very rare servants.”
During the last six months following Dorian, CHUMM has provided thousands of volunteer hours and about $265,000 for storm relief and rebuild work, and this work will also continue. This included hundreds of volunteer hours and about $58,000 for Ocracoke Island, and also included $30,000 from Knights of Columbus designated for displaced families with school-aged kids.
CHUMM is continuing with the rebuild work, but with some adjustments. They are putting off work which requires sending workers inside homes. If workers must enter homes, gloves, and masks are a requirement. However, there’s still plenty of outside work to be done including roofs, siding, ramps, etc. “Hopefully we won’t need to suspend all work,” stated Carroll.
Ocracoke operations, and all other UMCOR work requiring volunteer teams have been suspended for now. “Our hearts go out to those still out of their homes and suffering. We met some wonderful people during the three weeks our teams spent in Ocracoke,” stated Carroll.
The UMCOR Hatteras Island rebuild case worker, Bert Pinckney, is still working, using safety precautions. She will also help with screening COVID-19 financial cases. However, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is redirecting and reducing their NC rebuild funding. “We’re forced to choose between getting a paid construction manager, or receiving some limited rebuild funds. We chose the rebuild funds and will manage the work ourselves as best we can,” stated Carroll.
Donations and support are continually needed on a local level in this new time of crisis. Information on how residents and supporters can help CHUMM is listed below.
How You Can Help
The public can donate via the Cape Hatteras Unites Methodist Men website at https://www.hatterasmethodistmen.org/
Supporters can also donate by mail. Checks should be written to United Methodist Men and mailed to Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, P.O Box 1591, Buxton, NC 27920.