Philly Urban League throws lifeline to city families facing foreclosure, eviction

By: - May 20, 2020 7:48 am

By Donald Hunt

PHILADELPHIA — As many as 100 families who are at risk of losing their homes because of financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic are targeted to receive emergency, no-strings-attached assistance from the Urban League of Philadelphia.

The nonprofit has $50,000 to give away to “the most vulnerable,” Andrea Custis, president and CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia, said in a statement.

The money comes from the PHL COVID-19 Fund, a partnership between the city, the Philadelphia Foundation and the United Way’s regional branch.

Custis says her organization feels honored to be awarded the funds.

“We appreciate the quick leadership of the Philadelphia Foundation, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and all of the businesses and organizations that made contributions to the fund,” she wrote.

The Urban League of Philadelphia is one of nearly 400 organizations to benefit from the PHL COVID-19 Fund as of May 14.

State Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, notes that the coronavirus crisis has exacerbated the racial disparities in access to health care and other resources in Black and Brown communities.

“The Urban League has long been a great partner in assisting our communities, and I am confident the grant will be used to help many people in need,” Hughes said.

Urban League of Philadelphia leaders plan to award grants to families at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. The grants could be used to pay for food, gas, phone and utility bills as well as medical supplies and housing costs.

“The health and safety of the families we serve is our top priority. These emergency grants will provide vital support to the most vulnerable,” Custis said in the statement.

Urban League of Philadelphia leaders already have selected 50 families to receive grants, and plan to select 50 more.

Families in need of housing support are encouraged to email [email protected] to apply for funds.

Donald Hunt is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.

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