The Mississippi Department of Human Services has received more than $24 million in federal COVID-19 relief from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist Mississippi’s most vulnerable during the ongoing pandemic.
DHHS awarded the funding in two separate grants:
- A $9.2 million grant for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which can be used to help pay home energy costs such as electric and gas bills. Households may also apply for regular LIHEAP funds to purchase or repair air conditioners, heaters and fans.
- Over $15 million in Community Services Block Grant funding to assist households with rent, mortgage, employment and educational expenses.
“The goal of MDHS is to serve as many non-traditional clients as possible, who are mainly the households that have been directly or indirectly impacted due to COVID-19,” said Tina Ruffin, director of the MDHS Division of Community Services. “These funds will allow us to make sure our most vulnerable clients receive help when they need it.”
Individuals can contact their local community action agency or human resource agency to apply for both types of assistance. A list of these agencies is posted on the MDHS website. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. CAAs and HRAs are encouraged to work with other state and local agencies to provide maximum coordination of services for households through referrals.
Individuals who have never received services may submit a pre application through the Virtual ROMA website. This site is available nationwide, but services and funds are for residents of Mississippi only.