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Pop-up clinic helps Mecklenburg residents with emergency rental assistance applications

rental and mortgage assistance
Maria Ramirez Uribe
People wait in line for a pop-up event for rental and mortgage assistance.

Rep. Alma Adams partnered with the Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program, also known as RAMP CLT, to host a pop-up clinic Friday helping people with their emergency rental assistance applications.

Halfway through the seven-hour event at the Park Expo and Conference Center, more than 200 people had stopped by, according to Adams' district director, Phanalphie Rhue.

“People are hurting. Congresswoman Adams has been really committed to making sure people had access to information and funds and resources,” Rhue said. “So we're just trying to remove some of the barriers to the process so that people can get connected with the funds that have been allocated. And the funds are there.”

There’s $54 million that has yet to be distributed, according to Erin Barbee, the senior vice president of programs and fund development at DreamKey Partners, the organization that oversees RAMP CLT.

Barbee says DreamKey Partners has received 19,000 applications since the program started in March 2020.

“We recognize that there is a huge number of people that have not been helped, that have never interacted with our program and we need to continue to reach them,” Barbee said. “And so through this pop-up, and hopefully many more in the future, and the partnership with Congresswoman Adams, we can continue to reach the most vulnerable.”

Octavia Brown says she heard about the event through a note her leasing office left at her door.

She had previously applied for the program online, but she says it took a long time to get her questions answered via email.
“It's kind of a gamble because you really don't have anyone that you can ask all of your questions to,” Brown said.

That’s why this time, she wanted to go in person to get help with her application. She says she’ll take back the information she received to the people who live in her building.

“The city is in need. You know, I'm definitely not in this alone, as I can see,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of people in Mecklenburg County who need assistance, and I'm not surprised.”

According to Barbee at DreamKey Partners, the program can help cover rent that has been due going back to March 13, 2020 for up to 15 months, and provides assistance going forward for up to three months.

“There's a great amount of assistance that the government has provided," Barbee said. "We want people to take advantage of that.”

Applications for this round of aid closes on Oct. 15. Mecklenburg County residents can go to the RAMP CLT website to apply.

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