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Nonprofit Overseeing Emergency Assistance Program Reports More Than $4M Distributed Since April

The nonprofit tasked with administering an Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Tulsa and 19 other Oklahoma counties has distributed more than $4 million the past two months.

Restore Hope Ministries has given out $4.3 million since April 9. Executive Director Rev. Jeff Jaynes said over the 12 preceding months of the pandemic, Restore Hope gave out $4 million dollars, and that was an enormous increase over their typical levels of financial assistance.

"The amount that we've spend in the last two and a half months is what we would have spent in the two years before this year. And so, it's really a substantial increase in our resources and what we've been able to share," Jaynes said.

Funds go toward past due rent and utilities, as well as up to three months of forward rent in some cases. In some cases, a year of back rent was paid.

Households making 80% of area median income are eligible. Jaynes said 80% of funding has gone to families earning below 30% of area median income, which is less than $22,000 for a family of four in Tulsa County. 

"And actually, many of those families have zero income. These are families who had a job before the pandemic and lost that job because of the pandemic, and while some jobs are coming back, not all of those have come back," Jaynes said.

More rental and utility assistance funds are available for renters 18 and older. In addition to Tulsa, Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Haskell, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Rogers, Sequoyah, Wagoner and Washington county residents can apply.

Additional information about the program is available at Restore Hope's website, along with a link to the application.

There will also be in-person application events on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • First Baptist Church North Tulsa, 1414 N Greenwood Ave., Tulsa
  • Greater First Baptist Church, 216 W 10th St., Bartlesville
  • Rayfield Baptist Church, 601 Indianapolis Ave., Muskogee
Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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