How you can get help with rent, food, and your late bills

Posted at 9:30 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 09:30:17-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Millions of Americans have struggled to maintain housing, keep food on the table, and lights on during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Central Virginia, there are many people working to help Virginians stay afloat.

Feed More volunteers are among them.

Food Insecurity

They’re gearing up for January 26’s mobile food distribution event with Anthem at 2015 Staples Mill Road from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“We are getting ready to serve as many as 650 people," Jeff Wilklow, Chief Development Officer at Feed More, said. "We are buying things, getting food ready, ready to be distributed. Folks at Anthem are working hard."

The food is free to anyone who drives or walks up.

“We do this because we have people who need the help and because we have people who want to help," Wilklow said. "No matter what your politics are or your background, nobody wants to see their neighbor go hungry. I hear that again and again from donors and that’s why we are here."

Rent Relief

Folks who need rent relief can still apply to the VA Rent & Mortgage Relief Program using a newly established portal that is now active.

All applications are now being processed through one location.

While landlords, by law are now required to apply on behalf of tenants, legal experts say renters can also apply by calling 703-962-1884.

Utility Bills

There’s help for Richmonders struggling to stay on top of their utility bills.

Calvin Farr, Director of DPU and Richmond Gas Works said the relief program to cover past due utility bills is extended to January 31 for residential and commercial customers.

“That is a one-time payment because of the COVID. We know people are losing jobs. The dates are between March and December of last year. If you had any hardship there, we are able to help. It’s a simple check the box application. You just attest that you had some type of hardship and what happens is we will apply the credit to your account directly,” Farr said.

Applications can be picked up at Richmond City Hall, South Side Community Services Center, or through your council members. City ambassadors are also working to distribute them.

"About 70 will be out and about in the neighborhoods. We are trying to make it easy and convenient. Especially for seniors who may not be able to get out there and get the application to fill out. So, we are trying to get to their doorstep,” Farr explained.

Dominion Energy is also offering assistance for customers.

Past due amounts as of September 30 will be forgiven.

To see if you qualify for help, call 2-1-1- or to make payment arrangements, call 1-866-DOM-HELP.

Virginia Together: The Rebound Richmond campaign is here to help. Find information on who is hiring, investigations into unemployment payment issues, financial advice on making ends meet, and mental health advice on managing the pressures. These stories will be featured often on CBS 6 News and can be found by clicking this link.