Has Covid left you struggling financially? If Covid caused you to lose work and reduced your income, you can apply for government grants to help you pay the rent, cover bills and make ends meet.
How I Got Thousands in grants, free money, business counseling, legal advice, rent assistance from the government and more!
When Covid first hit, my business suffered a huge loss of income. After 4 months of feeling helpless watching my rent and bills pile up, I knew relying on my husband’s paycheck was not going to work. I had to start finding real solutions to get more money fast.
In July 2020 a friend suggested that I learn how to get government grants. An online search under grants, led me to YouTube where I discovered free money expert, Matthew Lesko and his work. Matthew is a New York Times best selling author and expert on grants with 40+ years experience.
As soon as I saw his first video I remembered that I used to purchase his books and watch him on TV. As I watched the video, I was astounded by the quality of his information. He was so generous and provided so many resources.
That day I began binge watching his free YouTube videos. About a week later, I made the decision to invest $39 to join his paid Facebook group for 3 months.
As a member of his group you’re entitled to ask him to create a free report on anything you need. His free reports come with many videos, giving very specific information on what to do to get grants and other forms of free money and assistance in your state.
But you can learn everything you need to about grants without becoming a member. You don’t have to be a member of Matthew’s group to get the benefit of his wisdom. All you have to do is watch his videos on YouTube. He puts a new one out every day.
For the past year, I’ve been taking steps to get relief and assistance for my family by following Matthew’s advice. Following up and getting grants requires work. It means filling out applications, watching videos, reading websites and making phone calls to state and local government agencies and non-profits.
I’m receiving free business counseling advice from SBDC
In addition to applying for rent relief and other necessary services like health care, I’ve also learned how to use government grant funding to grow my coaching business. By watching Matthew’s videos, I learned how I could get free business counseling advice from Americas’ SBDC.
SBDC stands for Small Business Development Center. There are over 1000 of these offices all throughout the United States. The office locations are found in leading universities, colleges, state economic development agencies and private partners.
The providers are paid by the government to counsel small businesses for free and provide low cost training. Everybody wins because your profitable business brings in more cash and that equates to a bigger chunk for the government when it’s tax time.
To get help and relief for your business, check out their website and find your local providers: https://americassbdc.org/
Getting a Month of My $1800 Rent Paid and More!
The grant application process required me to get fiercely organized. It was essential for me to gather all my documentation together; lease, tax returns, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, paycheck stubs, and every other document for every member of the family had to be sorted, labeled and saved. I made photo copies, scanned documents, created files and folders online and saved them to the cloud.
In September of 2020, Catholic Charities, a local non-profit (with multiple regional offices throughout the US), approved my application for rent assistance.
Within a week of my approval, they paid 1 month of back rent in the amount of $1800 to my landlord. Within just 2 days of filling out an intake form and speaking with a representative, I got an email response notification from them approving my application.
The next grant I received was for $500. That was through a local housing charity. Within a week they sent my landlord the $500 check.
I was able to get all these grants because I watched Matthew Lesko’s videos. They explained clearly how to reach out to local elected officials to get help by contacting state and federal agencies on my behalf.
Matthew explains on his videos that living in the United States we have about 12 different local official offices that we can contact. I called two of my local congressmen and my assemblymember’s office and received no satisfaction. I continued to search for other sources of assistance. To find your local elected officials, visit the site: https:commoncause.org and type in your zip code and state and you will be directed to all the phone numbers to call from the President down to your local congressman.
I struck gold when I called my local senator’s office. Within an your of leaving a voicemail message on their phone, the senator’s aide reached out with a phone call. Once I spoke with her and explained our financial situation and asked for help, she referred me to several agencies. She sent introduction emails to several of them letting them know I would be calling.
I contacted the agencies via phone and email and shortly after, I was connected with many wonderful, caring, compassionate people. There were a few who were not as friendly or helpful, but I concentrated on those who were.
Once I made an initial positive connection with one person from an agency, I returned back to them again and again being politely persistent. Agencies are happy to help you complete an application because your win is their win.
In addition to paying one month of my back rent, Catholic Charities provided a debit card for $250. That enabled me to purchase a 139 gallon delivery of fuel oil for our house.
One of the agencies that my senator referred me to was Social Services. But when I went to fill out the application and provided the information for our tax returns for 2019, we were denied on the basis of overearning.
After receiving the denial letter, I won’t lie. At first I wanted to tear it up and sulk. But I resisted the urge when I remembered Matthew Lesko’s advice to look at rejection as a challenge. So the next day I went right back to making phone calls.
When I called my local United Way they told me that I would be eligible to receive a grant of $250 only if I had a denial letter from Social Services.
Once I provided a copy of my denial letter, they offered me the option to pay one of my household bills up to $250 or they would send a $250 gift card for my local grocery store.
In December 2020 I received an Amazon package with (5) $50 debit cards to my local Stop & Shop supermarket.
My experience is a small sample of the benefits you can get from contacting your local elected officials and asking them for help. A little grit, tenacity and perserverance and you will get the financial help you need.
If you need any kind of financial assistance to get help to pay rent, legal advice, debt counseling, business mentoring, and more your local elected officials are your best source of guidance and information.
It does not matter if you did not elect them or you are not aligned with their political party. As a constituent of theirs, your needs are their concern. Their job is to help you get the assistance you need and to answer all your questions.
Government grants require a tremendous degree of accountability. All money provided by the government to any organization or agency is strictly reviewed and audited to ensure that the money is being used as intended. When you deal with these private offices, foundations and charities you must be patient because it takes time to finalize all the papers and complete all the requirements.
When my landlord sent a demand for rent due, Matthew recommended that I go to JustShelter.org to get help with finding an attorney. All the legal work that was done on my case was pro bono. There was no cost and it was free because my husband, Angel was over 65 years old.
Our attorney has advised us since November 2020 and continues to provide free legal advice. The value of free legal service alone is likely over $10K.
I have gotten over $2800 in cash as a result of making a few phone calls and getting myself fiercely focused. The grants just keep pouring in because I created a system of organization that makes it easier to apply for assistance.
After successfully getting several thousand dollars worth of grants, I wanted to thank Matthew personally. He agreed to do a Zoom chat with me and he’s been a tremendous source of support and wisdom ever since. He encouraged me to start a Facebook group to teach other people about how to get grants. And I did that. My Facebook group is called Grants Made Easy with Andrea Amador.
That’s my story of how I’ve been getting help by the government to pay my rent, bills and more. And if you’re struggling with finances and need help, I want to share this information with you.
Thanks to Matthew and his videos, I have now learned how to get government assistance in every area of my life. I’ve just scratched the surface of talking about the benefits available through the government. With his 40+ years of expertise in grant work, Matthew is the hands down expert on the subject. He has graciously uploaded hundreds of videos on YouTube for you to learn about how to solve every financial problem you have with the government’s help.
You don’t have to go deeper into debt.
If you’ve been feeling strapped and your finances are tight, you must reach out and get help.
Here is a roadmap of how you can get financial assistance for you and your family.
Mindset: Know that you can do this, but get ready to work at it. The government gives block grants to non-profits, charities and local agencies and organizations to help the community. Most people don’t know about this free opportunity to get cash and assistance and they end up suffering the consequences and getting deep into debt. Having a positive mindset and realizing that you must work at your goal will keep you on the right track when the process gets frustrating, annoying, and you feel like giving up. Know that this is a process that will take time. Be patient. Settle in by creating a system and get ready. Prepare yourself by having the right mindset. You can do this.
Be Courteous and Respectful: After you do initial internet searches, you are going to be directed to local and state agencies where you can call people directly. For best results, you are going to have to reach out and speak with government employees.
They are eager to help you. Be polite. Treat them kindly and respectfully. They are hard-working people who are getting paid by the government to help you. They are on your side. Many of them are deeply dedicated to provide outstanding service. They are non-partisan and want to do whatever they can to give you the assistance you need. The more personal and real you can be, the better chance you will have to get their help. Your biggest goal is to build relationships with these representatives. A little bit of kindness and respect goes a long way. In many cases your initial phone call or email will lead to you getting assistance by the representative in the form of helping you fill out their organization’s application. This will require some patience and focus. In the beginning this task can feel a little overwhelming but take your time and do it at your own pace.
Focus: I think my best advice to anyone applying for financial relief of any kind is to get super-focused and have their papers organized. It’s also really important to get clear about what you want to say. This is useful to send emails, request appointments online, as well as preparing what you want to say in your cold calls.
A Script for cold calling: To be sure that I get to say everything I want to say without wasting the representative’s time, I’ll write a short script.
This is sufficient to start the conversation:
Hello, I’d like to speak with someone who can give me some assistance. I am having trouble paying my bills and can’t pay my rent. I need some guidance. Can you tell me if there are any programs available to help me?
Many times you can also find an email address from a website. Use that email and make your initial contact.
Here’s an email that I sent to my local Senator’s office:
First I want to thank you for your service in the Senate. I appreciate
having you as my local representative.
I am contacting you to seek out information on Covid Rent Relief
Grants or assistance programs for residents.
In March my income was significantly reduced due to Covid. My husband
and I are currently 4 months in arrears. I am worried about being
evicted. What programs are available to offer rent grants or
assistance here in the area?
People care: The people who you will be contacting are dedicated, caring individuals. When you contact your local government offices, keep in mind the people working there are completely non-partisan bureaucrats. You will also be contacting non-profits, foundations, charities and state-run agencies. They are all paid by the government to work with people and businesses at no cost.
You may expect that your request would get bogged down with a lot of red tape and lost in the shuffle of bureaucracy. I worried about that too. That’s why I was stunned when I began to get rapid responses. The following day I received an email message and my phone’s voicemail was filled with response messages replying to my initial requests.
Get Organized: You must get all your financial papers and important documentation in order. When you speak with people requesting funding or relief you will be asked to provide an accounting of your expenses. I recommend putting this together in a list or on a spreadsheet.
You can move things along by running all your documentation through a scanner, saving it to a file on your computer and creating a separate folder for each item. For example – Tax Return, IDs, Lease, etc.
Make sure that you re-name each file to make it easy for the person looking at the documents. And set expectations by letting them know what you are sending them. For example: Enclosed you will find a copy of my lease, labelled as – Lease page 1 – Lease page 12, etc.
Maximize Google: If you look on Google under grants, you’ll probably find over 100 M links. You would surely go insane and never have the patience to find the places that can really help you. The biggest reason why is because Google gets paid by private business to bring in clients for the business.
Since the government works directly with the non-profits, city agencies and state offices, there is no middle man. You won’t find the relief you need by just doing a typical search on Google. These agencies don’t advertise their services because they are paid by the government. They don’t need to look for clients. Clients find them.
As Matthew’s video instructs, I set up Google Alerts to seek out grant and relief opportunities in my local area. Every day I read the alerts that came into my email inbox and followed up with phone calls. Doing this helped me find opportunities in my area and it also helped me to stay abreast of changes in the law relative to tenant’s rights. Thanks to Matthew I feel ready to handle any situation. I now know that no matter what I’ll never be alone and that there is always help out there.
Check out Matthew Lesko’s YouTube Channel: In addition to being an expert at finding grants and free money dedicated to helping people, Matthew Lesko is probably one of the kindest and most genuine people you will ever meet. You will be amazed when you see the sheer volume of free content Matthew provides on his YouTube channel. I can’t say this enough. Thank Heaven for Matthew Lesko! Who would have ever thought that help can come from contacting government agencies and local charities that are filled with people who are actually ready, willing and able to offer us grants. If you think about it, it’s incredible! Amazing!
Lesko Help: If you love Matthew’s videos and need more personal assistance, you’ll want to join his paid FB membership group called Lesko Help. As a member of Lesko Help, you’ll get invitations to all of Matthew’s FB Lives. By starting a new thread in the discussion board, you’ll get all your questions answered. You’ll have the privilege of getting free reports from Matthew to address your specific needs. His free reports are chock full of instructional videos giving you specific guidance on how to achieve your goals.
Assistance is available: Because of Covid the government has increased the programs available to individuals and businesses to double the annual amount allocated. There are over $3 Trillion dollars available through non-profits and government agencies eager to assist you. Whether your need is to get help building your business, paying your rent, finding affordable healthcare or getting out of debt, there is a government program that is right for you. This year the eligibility earning income limit for public assistance is $100K or less for an individual or any couple who earns under $198K.
Here is a small sampling of the help available:
free debt counseling assistance
free legal assistance
rent or mortgage relief
free job training
free or low-cost medical care
free business counseling
And there’s so much more.
If learning about grants is of interest to you, check out my Grants Made Easy with Andrea Amador Facebook group.