Elderly nurse, who has cared for others for decades, finds it hard to make ends meet now due to COVID-19

Elderly nurse, who has cared for others for decades, finds it hard to make ends meet now due to COVID-19

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “I don’t know how I’m ever going to get caught up. I’ve only been sending him three hundred dollars a month so I can still buy food and other things,” is a sad statement from a registered nurse, Judi Cunningham, who has spent decades caring for others.

Now, she is afraid of not being able to eat or pay the rent on the house she has lived in since 2007.

She’s also so afraid to go back to work because she turns 70 in November and she has a couple of preexisting conditions, including high blood pressure, and asthma.

Those illnesses put her at an increased risk of catching COVID-19.

So, Cunningham said she’s going to let her license expire next month.

That leaves her depending on just social security to live on.

That’s why she called the city’s 211 helpline in hopes of getting some assistance with her rent.

A kind lady on the phone, who gathered her information, gave her some good news that she was also eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

She was able to sign up, but that was months ago and she’s still waiting for help from SNAP.

“I would tell them to try eating peanut and jelly every day for a month and see how they like it,” Cunningham said.

She needs the food to feed herself and her adult-dependent daughter.

“She said well as long as I’ve got all this information about you, you might as well apply for food stamps too. I said sure I could use that. I’ve never gotten it. I’ve gotten three letters about it saying I’m approved. It’s still coming, it’s still coming. That was in June that I applied. This is October. I’ve never gotten one red cent of help. I’m still getting farther behind on my rent because I have to use the money for food.”

She showed 19 News three recent letters she received from SNAP, they read in part:

“Your supplemental assistance program, SNAP benefits have been recalculated for 9/01/2020. You will receive additional benefits of 339.00 dollars per month.”

No money has come from SNAP nor the Housing assistance she applied for.

That leaves her with a lot of questions she deserves answers too.

"Who did get some help. All these other people applying are they getting some help? I applied I got nothing and months have gone by. Where did the money go? Is anybody?

19 News reached out to the housing agency, and they are expediting the process for her.

No word from SNAP.

If you need help with paying rent here are some additional resources from the CHN Housing Partners:

• Best way is to apply online with an easy online application at www.neorenthelp.org.

• Tenants can also call 833-377-RENT (7368) for help completing an application or for questions.

• Note to tenants: Be sure to provide required documents and hit submit at the end of the application.

• Residents of Cuyahoga County/Cleveland having a difficult time paying rent because of COVID-related hardship and who are under the 120% of area median income (about $91,000 a year for a family of 4) are eligible.

• Funds are provided by the Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, and others.

• Those who are in the eviction process receive priority consideration because our goal is to keep people safely housed but all complete applications get processed.

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