COVID-19 Relief Information

Media Contact:
Leah Stockton, Keys Area President
lstockton@keysunitedway.org
305-735-1929

For Immediate Release: January 25, 2021

United Way, Partners and City of Key West bring COVID-19 Assistance to Local Residents

Key West—United Way of Collier and the Keys is excited to announce a partnership with the City of Key West to assist with approximately $250,000 in aid to residents affected by COVID-19. During the January 5 City of Key West Commission meeting, a stop-gap proposal was made by local health, nonprofit, faith-based and business representatives to assist the Key West community during the next few critical months of the pandemic. The Commission recognized if ever there were a moment to step in and fill the gap, that time is now, and the Mayor and Key West City Commission unanimously approved up to $500,000 to assist local residents. The goal is to keep community members healthy and safe, stabilize households and retain residents here in Key West.

City of Key West Rental Assistance (KeysHelp.org)

UWCK will work alongside 9 other local non-profits to connect the City’s support to our residents. To be eligible for any of the programs below, you must have documented significant financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and be a City of Key West resident or a Stock Island resident who works in Key West.

To date, funds have been earmarked as:

  • $164,000: Rental Assistance
    • To apply, residents should contact ONE of the intake agencies: AH of Monroe (305-293-3670), all languages available) Catholic Charities (305-292-9790 ext.4, Spanish available), Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (305-293-8189), Samuel’s House (305-296-0240), or Sister Season Fund (305-304-9828).
    • Each agency will be using the same application process: compiling all client documentation such as a lease, proof of income and photo ID, etc, and completing all required forms.
    • Apply as soon as possible. Assistance is available first come, first serve until funds are exhausted.
  • $31,220: Support for Food
    • Key West area food pantries or meal providers:
      • Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Loaves and Fishes: drive through or walk up food pantry, 2221 Patterson Ave, 305-295-7580
      • Metropolitan Community Church, Cooking with Love: meal and grocery delivery for homebound residents, 305-294-8912
      • Star of the Sea Foundation, Outreach Mission: drive through or walk up food pantry, 5640 Maloney Ave, 305-292-3013
  • $19,000: Utilities and Basic Needs Assistance
    • Up to $500 per household available for approved assistance with utilities and basic needs such as food, prescriptions, childcare, transportation, limited medical expenses and other critical safety net services
    • Apply at KeysHelp.org to be connected to case managers at the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition
  • $27,300: Free Medical Services
    • The Guidance/Care Center: free inpatient mental health services for crisis stabilization intended for resolution of acute crisis and suicide prevention; 1205 4th St, 305-434-7660 option 8
    • Womankind: free necessary medical services including provider visits, diagnostics and prescriptions; 1511 Truman Ave, 305-294-4004

According to the United Way ALICE Report, over one third of Keys residents were struggling to make ends meet and living paycheck to paycheck, even before the pandemic. A survey of local nonprofit organizations in Key West, United Way, Partners and City of Key West bring COVID-19 Assistance to Local Residents Page 2 of 2 conducted by United Way in December 2020, showed a gap in funding available to continue to assist these residents with COVID-19 testing, rent, food, utilities, medical and other essential needs. However, to keep Key West open, safe and economically stable, people need to have these safety nets available. This gives residents the financial ability to follow quarantine recommendations and to carry them through income losses that many of our working families have suffered for months. Thus, this support from the City will help reduce COVID spread and stabilize our community.

UWCK is leading this collaborative effort through the multiple assistance channels above to meet the greatest needs currently identified in the community. As the situation evolves, funds will be directed accordingly to continue to address these needs. More information on these programs and a complete listing of health and human services information and resources can be found at KeysHelp.org.

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About United Way of Collier and the Keys

United Way of Collier and the Keys (UWCK) is committed to improving lives and strengthening our community so all individuals and families have an opportunity to thrive and achieve their full potential. As a local volunteer-driven organization, UWCK advocates for Asset Limited Income Constrained and Employed (ALICE) residents in our communities looking for a hand-up by providing them information and referral and supportive tools and resources. We accomplish this through improving education, economic stability and health, as well as providing access to food and critical safety net services for all Collier and Monroe County residents