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United Way offers help to families in need
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SAVANNAH — Help is on the way for low-income families in critical situations due to a loss in income or unfortunate economic circumstances.
Through the Georgia Fresh Start program, United Way of the Coastal Empire provides one-time financial crisis assistance, up to $3,000 per household, for housing and utilities issues including foreclosure, demand for possession, dispossessory, eviction notice, shut-off or past-due notice for utilities or utilities already turned off. The program begins Monday and runs through Sept. 30.
The Georgia Fresh Start program is led by the Department of Human Services and United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, in partnership with United Way of the Coastal Empire and the Salvation Army, and is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Fresh Start is a short-term, crisis-oriented benefit designed to help needy families get caught up on past-due shelter and/or utility expenses, or assist them with move-in costs associated with renting a new dwelling.
Last year, more than 1.2 million families in Georgia experienced financial hardship. Many had their utilities interrupted or were at risk for losing their homes. In critical situations like these, a little financial assistance makes a big difference. More importantly, it means a fresh start for a family in need.
To qualify for Fresh Start, you must meet the following criteria:
• Be a United States citizen or legal immigrant allowed to work in the United States
• Be a resident of Georgia
• Be a caretaker of a minor dependent child living in the home
• Have an income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level
• Live at the address provided on the application for benefits
If you meet all eligibility requirements, you may obtain an application starting Monday by calling the United Way at 912-651-7730. The Fresh Start application is also available online at by following the link to 2-1-1. If eligible, United Way will disburse payments directly to the service provider.

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