Twenty-three non-profit agencies in Polk County have been selected to receive portions of $15 million in federal CARES Act funds that the Polk County Commission reserved for services to families that suffered economic damages as a result of the coronavirus.

The selections were made by Polk County Unites, a partnership between the county government and United Way of Central Florida.

Polk County residents in need of assistance can contact United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service by dialing 2-1-1 or texting their zip code to 898-211. 

The 501(c)3 agencies receiving funds are listed here with the services provided, and where appropriate, the cities served:

  • Agricultural and Labor Program, Inc. – rent, mortgage, utility
  • Camp Fire USA – child care
  • CareerSource Polk – childcare, dependent Care, utilities, emergency assistance; Bartow
  • Catholic Charities – rent, mortgage
  • Central Florida Health Care – rent, utilities, food assistance, economic assistance; Winter Haven
  • Church Service Center  – rent, mortgage, utilities, child care
  • Florida Baptist Children’s Homes/One More Child – rent, mortgage utilities, child care; Lakeland
  • Frostproof Care Center – rent, mortgage, utilities; Frostproof
  • Girls Inc. Lakeland – food; Lakeland
  • Heart 4 Winter Haven – rent, mortgage, child care, insurance, fuel, groceries; Winter Haven
  • HELP of Fort Meade – rent, mortgage, utilities; Fort Meade
  • Lake Wales Care Center – child care, senior adult care, rent, mortgage, electricity, water, prescriptions, surgery/medical bills, food, fuel; Lake Wales
  • Lake Wales Ministerial Alliance – rent mortgage
  • Mulberry Community Service Center – rent, mortgage utilities; Mulberry and Haines City
  • RCMA Polk – food, formula, diapers, supplies
  • Salvation Army of East Polk – rent, mortgage, utilities; Winter Haven
  • Salvation Army of Lakeland & West Polk – rent, mortgage, utilities, Lakeland
  • St Vincent de Paul St. Ann – rent, mortgage, utilities; Haines City
  • St Vincent de Paul Lakeland – rent, mortgage, utilities, medical, prescriptions, child care; Lakeland
  • The Way Center – mortgage, rent, utilities, child care, adult care, home insurance, food, fuel; Haines City
  • Theatre Winter Haven – child care; Winter Haven
  • Women’s Resource Center  – rent, mortgage, utilities; Winter Haven
  • YMCA of West Central Florida – child care

Agencies could request up to $1 million. The United Way of Central Florida declined to release the amounts awarded, saying some of the agencies feared they would be overwhelmed by calls.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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