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New Poverty Report Doesn't Show Full Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic

Phillip Cole, OACAA Executive Director (credit Jo Ingles).jpg
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Philip Cole, Ex. Dir, Ohio Assn Of Community Action Agencies

But agencies that serve low-income Ohioans say they are providing far more services since the pandemic began.

Local community agencies that serve Ohio’s poor say they’ve been inundated with requests for help with mortgages, rent, and utility assistance during the pandemic. But the full extent of the problem is not yet known.

Phillip Cole of the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies said in a normal year, the agency provides about $600 million dollars in programming. But he said this year, it’s handling much more.

“Some of the agencies have told me that their requests for assistance are up between 400-500%," Cole said.

Cole said the impact of COVID-19 is not showing up in all of the data yet. But he said he’s sure future numbers will reflect some of the pandemic-related struggles Ohioans are facing.

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