Upbring Neighborhood House is stepping in to help the brave families of Lubbock whose lives have been upended by the pandemic. March marked a harsh new chapter for many people when life grinded to a standstill to contain the virus. Jobs were lost by many and dependable hours vanished for others. Furloughs started and uncertainty began to take hold not only in policy, but in families: Will I be able to pay rent? How long will our savings last? When can I return to my job or apply for a new one? These questions are still being answered, little by little every day.
Neighborhood House stands by families as they navigate our changing reality, giving them the support they need through rent and utility assistance to get back on their feet again, thanks to $3 million dollars in grants from the Lubbock Community Development Department and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). “If we can keep the lights on and the water running it will make a big difference for families,” said Joy Loper, Neighborhood House and Health for Friends Clinic director.
Throughout the pandemic Neighborhood House is providing a safe, online application process while working closely with the South Plains Food Bank to continuously provide food and utilities to families. “No matter what,” said Joy, “we will help as many people as we can.” The online application has led to greater efficiency and will continue for the foreseeable future. Applications for rental and utility assistance started at the beginning of June and will continue until December of this year. A projection of more than 800 families impacted by COVID-19 will be helped by Neighborhood House in 2020.
A Light Shines in the Darkness
For over half a century Neighborhood House has been serving the Lubbock community: single mothers, the elderly, the disabled, the homeless and marginally homeless, and persons who are in a temporary financial crisis, through emergency assistance. Neighborhood House has been providing utility assistance since 2003 and is currently the largest provider of its kind in Lubbock County. By connecting people to what they need, Neighborhood House is renewing hope for families and giving them the support needed to uncover a path forward.
Joy has worked for Upbring for many years and has had the privilege of being a first-hand witness to the resilience and generosity of Lubbock residents even during times of hardship. She knows that with compassion and community support our communities will overcome any challenge. “We will endure,” said Joy. “Human nature tells us that we’re going to rise above this no matter what, and that’s pretty amazing to me.”
Are you a Lubbock family who needs help or know someone who does? Apply for utility assistance today. If you feel called to help the people in immediate need in Lubbock, consider sponsoring a family’s utilities for one month, as even with the additional public resources available over and above normal times, the need for assistance is even greater. Call 806-589-1907 for more information.