The trying times are spread far and wide, especially for those who have become stricken with COVID-19.
ROC USA, a national nonprofit organization that aids manufactured home community residents in purchasing the land they live on, is raising funds and taking requests from the residents most in need of help during the pandemic.
“We’re trying to alleviate some of the burden that comes with COVID-19 diagnosis by covering lot rent for at least a month, and in the case of a hospitalization we issue extra funds,” ROC USA President Paul Bradley said.
ROC USA, based in New Hampshire, takes aid applications from COVID positive residents who live in its national network of resident-owned communities.
“We started this program in late March and we’ve received $8,400 from individual donations. We’ve matched that dollar for dollar, and will continue to match funds up to $10,000,” Bradley said.
And all of the proceeds raised will go toward helping residents who are struggling with a COVID diagnosis. ROC USA also is donating proceeds from its Amazon Smile program to the fund.
The payment for lot rent is sent to the property manager on behalf of the ailing resident, which both relieves the stress of monthly expenses and provides the needed physical distance to help reduce the rate likelihood of catching and spreading the virus.
The ‘Bearers of Good News’ During Difficult Times
When the property manager learns the lot rent is being paid, they get to tell the resident in an email, text message, or in a quick and distant masked visit, as needed.
“I’ve had several managers say ‘Thank you for letting us be the ones to be the bearers of good news,’” ROC USA Digital Media Specialist Samantha Chickering said. “The role of a property manager can be difficult, especially with everything that’s happening right now. To be able to offer some relief, some solace is important for everyone.”
ROC USA has received more than 60 individual donations from its network of nonprofits, industry leaders, and residents too. More than half of the donations were for $50 or less. Funds from the COVID-19 Emergency Grant Program have gone to residents in 10 states, with more activity in some than others.
“We’ve had quite a few applications from Washington state and quite a few from Minnesota,” Chickering said. “We won’t hear from anyone for a while, and then we’ll get a whole bunch of applications from the same area. The path of our grants geographically has been very similar to how the virus has moved.”
Funding COVID-19 Relief Where It’s Needed
Early in the pandemic, a resident in New England who managed all of the home finances became ill. He died in April. His wife applied for assistance, and was provided a break from at least one of the expenses she would have to start managing, while managing the grief of losing her husband.
“She really needed help. There was so much to do, and she didn’t even know where to start,” Chickering said. “We were able to provide funds for three months of lot rent.”
Two other families of residents who lost a family member living in the home were provided three months of assistance as well. A family in Washington also received extended funding from the program.
A pregnant couple with several children at home had the virus spread through their family. The mother was hospitalized. All of the children became infected, and the father had to quarantine and care of for his ailing children.
“They’re on the mend though, the entire family is on the mend. Mom and the new baby are home,” Chickering said. “It’s surprising the dad never got it, but he was also not able to work.
“So, yes, the need is there, and we feel like we’re providing grants in places where it’s extremely important to help,” she said. “We’re getting overwhelmingly positive communication from residents who have been ill and are recovering. They’re very grateful for the assistance they’ve received.”
ROC USA is taking donations to the fund through its GoFundMe page, and network residents or household family members of network residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 can apply for assistance at the ROC USA site.