Wesley House Presented With New Challenges Due To The Pandemic
Updated: May 19
In Meridian, Wesley House Community Center which helps residents in need with their rent and utilities through its Christian Relief Mission, is anticipating challenges presented due to the pandemic as the need for these services increase.
Last Week, the Mississippi Public Service Commission announced an extension to its order banning utilities from cutting off customers' water, sewer, electricity and gas services for nonpayment until May 26th and Governor Tate Reeves set June 1st as the date evictions will officially resume.
Executive Director of Wesley House Community Center believes more residents will be seeking financial assistance from the center once these suspensions are lifted.
“When that moratorium is lifted, when individuals start to possibly have their utilities or whatever shutoff of foreclose or you know –evictions, or whatever the case may be, whenever they get back to that point for instance those utility bills are going to be much higher than they had been previously. so, we’re anticipating the needs are going to be much greater”, said Rev. David Schultz.
Reverend schultz also shares that with many of these bills being higher than usual, they may not have the funds to fully assist residents.
“The challenge is the bills that are left for several months and have a super large balance or like rent or mortgage, you know, you get a couple three months behind on rent or mortgage and your talking several thousand dollars that a person needs to be caught up and we may not have those resources”, said Rev. Schultz.
Wesley House’s bill pay assistance is done one time annually for those in need, and in order to receive assistance residents must meet a certain criteria, after assessment of their income to debt ratio.