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Alex City Outlook, Dec. 8th, 2012

Dec. 8, 2012, noon · 0 comments

United Way agency provides temporary assistance

Alexander City, Alabama

Published 11:48am Saturday, December 8, 2012

By Laura Pemberton

Tallapoosa Aid to People (TAP) has been temporarily helping people who have fallen on hard times since 1983.

TAP provides limited help by paying rent, mortgage payments, utility bills or prescriptions for those in temporary need of assistance, according to Rosemary Brigham, board member of the organization.

“I’ve seen people be able to keep houses because of TAP,” said Brigham, who has been with the organization since its founding. “I’ve seen reductions in anxiety, and I’ve seen people be able to purchase medicines that allowed them to get better and return to work.”

Brigham said TAP helped 369 families last year, but without help from the Lake Martin Area United Way, TAP providing assistance would not be possible.

“Without United Way we would not exist,” Brigham said. “They allow us to continue to serve the people in our community.”

TAP is one of the 23 agencies funded by the Lake Martin Area United Way.

“TAP is a wonderful program,” said Sharon Fuller, United Way executive director. “We’re honored they’re a part of United Way, and we can help out so many.”

Brigham said TAP strives to improve the quality of life of residents in Tallapoosa and Coosa counties through temporary assistance to meet emergency needs.

“We should not be a budgeted resource,” Brigham said. “For us to help an applicant, they must prove they have experienced a crisis or change in income and will have a way to pay the bills next month. Our goal is to help them get through an immediate crisis.”

Brigham said some of the most common changes include loss of job, death, reduction in job hours and sickness.

“The reason we require proof that bills can be paid next month is we want to avoid using our limited funds if we know it’ll be disconnected anyway,” Brigham said. “We require verification and make payments directly to the companies.”

Aid from the organization is limited to once a year, and participants are run through charity tracker.

Fuller said charity tracker is a computerized system that tracks payments given by different charities to be sure aid is not being abused.

“They want to be able to help as many people as possible,” Fuller said. “This recession hasn’t just hit one certain aspect of people – there are more and more people in need.”

Brigham said those needing assistance can call 256-234-3291 and request an appointment with Dorris Black. Applicants will need to provide proof of income and identification.

Here's a link to the original article.

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