CIRCLEVILLE — Pickaway County Community Action still has availability for residents who meet different qualifications and are struggling with rent, mortgage or utility payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PICCA has several programs available for residents to apply for with different qualifications. Nick Pruitt, CSBG/Energy Director, said they’re still taking applications for CARES Act and Consolidated Appropriations Act programs that were passed last year.

“We’re getting the applications from the clients and once we screen them and understand their situation, we’ll look at what programs fall in line with their situation to make sure we’re maximizing the amount of assistance we have and the amount of assistance we can get them,” he said.

Pruitt said he believes there is an untapped population of people who qualify for the funding but haven’t applied due to the focus on unemployment and stimulus benefits.

“I think people are having trouble keeping track of what’s available,” he said. “There’s so much talk about stimulus checks and unemployment and I can’t help but think that in the midst of those conversations, people don’t understand or know about the help that’s out there to help them stay on their feet and keep them housed.”

He added that keeping people housed is the goal.

“One of the resounding themes around these grants has been about keeping people in their homes and keeping them from becoming homeless. I think with all the other conversations…this assistance probably doesn’t get the amount of attention that those other topics do. We want to make sure we’re doing our due diligence and we’re communicating with folks.”

Most of the programs date back to March or April of 2020; some of the funding deadlines are coming up, including one on April 1. Pruitt said the best thing for people to do is to apply and let the organization help them find the right fits.

“At the end of the day, it’s just to call and talk to us, fill out an application and let’s see what we can do to help them out through all the programs that we provide.”

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