Extra support for people from Ghent during the corona crisis
With a series of concrete measures the city of Ghent is ready to assist Gentenaars who are struggling financially during the corona crisis.
The City of Ghent has a series of concrete measures ready to assist Gentenaars who are struggling financially during the corona crisis. For example, from 1 May, the Public Centre of Social Welfare (PCSW) will be able to pay out additional financial aid to any person in Ghent who comes into financial difficulties, regardless of his or her status. The City also provides 100,000 euros in material aid, and there is crisis support for about 1,000 families with a living wage.
Due to the major impact of the corona crisis, the number of residents of Ghent who are unable to make ends meet is increasing. With 2,330 information questions, March was the busiest month in 5 years for the social welfare agencies. The trend continued in the first weeks of April, and the number of questions was 40% higher than in other years.
They mainly received questions about financial aid, applying for a living wage and advances on unemployment benefits. In most cases, these are people who have never before been entitled to social benefits, whose benefits have become too tight, and people who are faced with a delay in the payment of temporary unemployment.
The Taskforce Relance decided a package of measures on April 3, 2020 to assist Gentenaars who are in financial difficulties. These social measures have now been made more concrete.
Crisis support for families with a living wage
On Friday 17 April, about 1,000 families received 60 euros in crisis support. It concerns families with only minor children who receive a living wage. The aid is aimed at absorbing additional costs, since the children do not go to school.
Additional financial aid, separate from statute
From 1 May, the PCSW Ghent will be able to pay financial additional aid to any person in Ghent who comes into financial difficulties, regardless of his or her status. Until now, this was only possible for people with a living wage. The additional financial aid is granted after a social and financial investigation. The first payments are expected at the end of June (with retroactive effect).
Help to pay the rent
The PCSW has received an additional budget of 60,000 euros to be able to pay for interventions. This is in addition to the initiatives taken by the Flemish government.
100,000 euros for material aid
The City of Ghent provides 45,000 euros for a group purchase of hygienic products (such as soap, diapers, sanitary towels, etc.). The material will be distributed through initiatives that provide food and material assistance. After consultation with these aid organizations, the City of Ghent also provides 27,000 euros for Kras vzw and 27,000 euros for the associations behind Samen Solidair Gent. The financial support will be used for food and material aid, and will be in addition to other emergency measures such as deploying city employees, guiding extra volunteers, supplying food surpluses via Foodsavers and distributing protective equipment.