Stories of Change

An ECMHSP client shows off her family's $200 check, which came through a grant from CWS.

Rent and utility help for agricultural farm workers and their families in North Carolina

Heartache. Grief. Worry. Uncertainty. Fear.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to take a devastating toll on families in the United States and around the world. That’s why our emergency response team in the United States has been reaching out to our local partners in communities across the country. We’ve been focusing on ways to help families overcome some of the challenges that this health emergency has put in their path.

One of these partners is East Coast Migrant Head Start Project in North Carolina. “East Coast Migrant Head Start Project is committed to preparing the children of migrant and seasonal farm workers for success.  We do this by providing holistic, high quality early childhood education services for children and families in a nurturing, culturally sensitive environment and by providing services and advocating for children and families in their other areas of need,” reads their mission statement. Their team adds, “We truly are here to serve and meet the needs of our families and their children.”

Unfortunately, these families’ needs have grown significantly during this pandemic. Agriculture farm work has been categorized as essential, so many families have members who continue to work in our fields. However, not everyone has been able to keep their job, and unemployment has risen. Some employers have adapted schedules during the pandemic, so their employees are facing reduced hours and smaller incomes. An increasing number of ECMHSP’s clients are reporting financial struggles. Money is scarce, and families are falling behind on rent and bills. 

In situations like this, cash assistance is often the most effective way to help a family get through a period of stress or crisis. ECMHSP took into account what they were hearing from their clients, as well as the types of support that they were receiving from other sources. Their analysis showed that the most effective way that families could use support from CWS would be through cash grants to help pay rent and utility bills. This would help keep families in their homes during the crisis and ease some of that financial pressure. 

With your help, 75 families each received a $200 check. That’s 400 people who can breathe a little easier in the midst of this crisis.

In their report to CWS after making sure that the families received the funds, the team at ECMHSP wrote: “Thank YOU! CWS GOD Bless YOU all and continue to Bless You in supporting families in our communities with your Emergency  Response Program.”