Record Year for Donors and Needs at RAM House Roanoke as the Good Neighbors Fund kicks off its annual campaign | Local News

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For most financial aid seekers, Woodson said “rent is an issue” with some tenants owing landlords thousands of dollars. In these cases, she said, even when the Emergency Financial Assistance Program grants are complemented by donations from other charities, “there’s not much we can do.”

As in previous years, RAM won a grant that will supplement the fund in the amount of $ 18,500, which will go towards rent assistance. Another grant of $ 5,000 will be added to the agency’s feeding program.

RAM also received a federal CARES grant that allows it to serve as a tracing service on behalf of the Western Virginia Water Authority for those in need of assistance. When it comes to utility bills, Woodson said, “we’ve seen them get higher and higher,” as penalties and late fees are on top of late fees.

Woodson fears the coming winter months could lead to evictions, as federal funds for rental programs dry up.

Woodson said the charity is also seeing more and more people on fixed incomes showing up for meals. Earlier in the year, the property’s kitchen served about 80 meals a day. That number rose to 120 this summer and 140 in the fall.

“It may have something to do with inflation,” she said.

Providing free meals is “another way to prevent homelessness, helping people save on their food bills,” she said. While much of the food prepared in the kitchen is donated, some items have to be purchased and higher costs have added to the expense of RAM.

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