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I-CARE utilizes The Duke Endowment funds to help meet the needs of many

Many low-income families struggling to afford necessities have been hardest hit by the pandemic. The resulting employment, housing and healthcare crisis has exacerbated the extent of support needed by the states most vulnerable families.

Through the support of I-CARE, Inc., families in Iredell and Alexander counties have managed to navigate some of their financial constraints. Utilizing The Duke Endowment funding and other financial resources, I-CARE has assisted more than 30 families with COVID-related basic needs.

An I-CARE client working a low-paying job was behind on his rent and faced eviction. Though working full-time, he was still unable to afford his monthly household bills. I-CARE provided funds to help the client pay his overdue utilities and unpaid rent. “I appreciate the assistance. The funding prevented disconnection of my utility service and eviction from my apartment,” he said.

In addition to providing rental and utility bill assistance I-CARE directed The Duke Endowment funds to its workforce development program. The agency used the funds to enroll clients in commercial driver’s license (CDL), phlebotomy, certified nursing assistant (CNA) and medical assistant vocational training courses.

An I-CARE client working as a certified nursing assistant, wanted to become a phlebotomist. The Duke Endowment funds covered the tuition cost for the training. “I'm currently a CNA and becoming a certified phlebotomist will provide better opportunities to advance,” she said. Another I-CARE, Inc. client used funds to complete CDL license classes. He expressed gratitude for I-CARE and The Duke Endowment for providing the means to complete his vocational training.

“We are thankful for The Duke Endowment funding which increased agency capacity and leveraged opportunities to provide emergency relief and hope for families devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said I-CARE Family Support Services Director Shelton Moore. “The most basic needs of families were exposed during the pandemic unlike ever before. This funding served as a bridge to help meet their needs.

The Duke Empowerment Fund has been beneficial for low-income individuals and families to thrive amid a global pandemic. The support of the Duke Endowment helps reduce the financial burden of those in need.

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