NEWS FROM ESOP
COVID-19 RESPONSE: PROGRAM UPDATES
Current as of July 29, 2020 at 8:00AM
Senior Small Dollar Loans
ESOP has launched a Senior Small Dollar Loan program, which will provide critical assistance to adults age 55 and older who have suffered a financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This loan program is made possible by the generous funding from Third Federal Savings and Loan with additional support from Chemical Bank, and in partnership with Faith United Credit Union.
The Senior Small Dollar Loan is interest-free, ranges from loans of $300 to $1000, and is designed to help offset any COVID-19 related financial crises, including: basic needs (food, housing, rent); medication and health care issues; utilities; taxes; transportation; or insurance.
VITA Tax Preparation
Curbside VITA tax-preparation services ended July 15 with the federal tax filing deadline.
Current as of June 26, 2020 at 3:00 PM
VITA Tax Preparation
We are now providing curbside tax preparation assistance by appointment only at our headquarters. For more information or schedule an appointment, visit http://www.esop-cleveland.org/FinancialWellness/Income-Tax-Prep.html
Current as of May 13, 2020 at 5:00 PM
COVID-19 update: Limited in-person counseling available with safety precautions
As the state of Ohio begins to reopen, we are working hard to navigate the best ways to contain the spread of COVID-19 and ensure employee and visitor safety.
Telehealth and virtual services will continue to be offered where possible.
Our headquarters and other locations remain closed to visitors except for a limited number of in-person services. Beginning this week, clients who receive financial and housing counseling through Benjamin Rose subsidiary Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) may receive some services in-person at our headquarters location with the following restrictions:
- All appointments must be scheduled in advance.
- Only the client with an appointment may enter the building. Exceptions include:
- A caregiver who is legally authorized to make decisions for the client;
- A support person for an individual with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities/limitations or cognitive impairment who requires assistance; and
- A support person for a client who has delirium and/or dementia where the presence of the visitor is necessary to reduce the client’s delirium, reduce the risk of falls or other injury and otherwise reduce the risk of medical or clinical harm.
- Visitors are required to wear a facial covering. Facial coverings (non-medical masks) will be provided to client and visitors who do not have one.
- Minor children are not permitted in BRIA locations. Children cannot be left unattended in vehicles on BRIA premises or BRIA parking lots.
Employees who work onsite are required to wear facial coverings and follow safe work practices, including temperature taking, frequent handwashing and other precautions.
Current as of March 16, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
ESOP has received direction from our partners in the Cuyahoga EITC Coalition that the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is temporarily suspended, effective immediately, and will resume operations as soon as it is deemed safe and responsible.
Current as of March 15, 2020 at 8:00 PM
With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) now established in Ohio, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging and its subsidiaries, including ESOP, are intensifying our institutional response.
We need to make prudent choices to protect the health of our own community and the broader communities we belong to, while still providing essential services to our most vulnerable populations.
- Financial Counseling, Housing Counseling, LIFEPOP, Outreach and Benefits Assessments will be done with clients virtually by telephone and email.
- Homebuyers’ Education Classes: March classes are cancelled. We are working on ways to deliver these classes remotely in April.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance: No additional appointments are being scheduled for VITA at this time.
- ESOP Realty: We are suspending realty showings and listings until further notice.
- Financial Education Workshops: We are cancelling financial education workshops at this time.
These guidelines represent our best judgment, at this moment, about practical steps we can all take to reduce risk for our older adults, our community and for each other.
For updates on the Benjamin Rose and ESOP response to COVID-19, visit www.benrose.org/COVID-19.