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COVID–19 Displaced Worker Grant Still Ongoing

REBECCA HAZEN/Dade County Sentinel
Zoe Hayes works at the Hope House Cafe, and is currently going through the Hand UP Ministry program. She cleans both the cafe and the Hope House through the Disaster Dislocated Worker National Emergency Grant. Dade County residents are encouraged to apply for the grant, which provides temporary COVID-19 prevention cleaning jobs.

News Editor

Northwest Georgia Regional Commission (NWGRC) and Work Source Georgia continue to offer a Disaster Dislocated Worker National Emergency Grant through its Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

The Disaster Dislocated Worker National Emergency Grant provides temporary employment opportunities for individuals impacted by Covid-19 throughout the 15 county Northwest Georgia region. Dade County residents are encouraged to apply.

Zoe Hayes, from Summerville, is a recipient of the grant. Hayes works at A Hand UP Ministry’s Hope House Café. She is also currently going through the Hand UP Ministry program, and lives at the women’s Hope House.

“When I first came to the program, someone else in the program was on the grant. She’s not in the program anymore, so I have been blessed to have the chance,” Hayes said.

Hayes cleans both the Hope House and Hope House Café, including mopping, sweeping wiping down tables, and cleaning bathrooms.

“We want to make sure that everyone stays healthy and well. What she does is very important,” Hayes supervisor, Kelly Reagin said. “She takes a lot of pride in what she does.”

“I know that this is a good opportunity. I know that when people walk through the facility, to see the Hope House and the transformation that’s come from it, I am helping to prevent people getting sick. It feels good to know that I am helping,” Hayes.

Another benefit for Hayes is that she can work flexible hours while cleaning and working for the Hope House Café.

“I’m thankful that the grant gives me the opportunity to make my own hours. I have the time to work on my GED,” Hayes said.

“This is our goal. This gives her the opportunity to focus on the items that she has identified that are important to her,” Reagin said.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Coordinator Paula Stallings works directly with the grant, developing work sites and working with individuals that apply for the grant.

The eligibility requirements for the NEG Grant include:
• Be at least 18 years old
• A legal citizen of the United States
• In compliance with the Selective Service Act
• Temporarily or permanently laid off as a result of COVID-19
• Laid off due to a plant or business closure related or lack of work
• Long-term unemployed individuals
• Self-employed individuals unemployed or underemployed

Applications are available online at Click on the Disaster/COVID-19 Application link. For more information, contact Paula Stallings at (423) 280-5161 or

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