Also, Lt. Governor Husted announced that BroadbandOhio has been working with providers to find public wi-fi hotspot locations for Ohioans who may not otherwise have access to the internet from home.
A list of hotspot finders and locations by provider is available at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/
“Some of these hotspots offer parking lot availability so you can go there, download work emails, or school lesson plans, and then have it on your device when you return home,” said Lt. Governor Husted.
Service providers offering public wi-fi hotspots that are not listed on the website are encouraged to get on the list by emailing Together@Governor.
Meanwhile, as thousands of residents await much-needed financial aid from the federal Coronavirus stimulus package and Franklin County’s COVID-19 Response PRC Program, the Franklin County Commissioners want to ensure the most vulnerable families are not overlooked
The Commissioners are partnering with the Columbus chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to call on financial institutions to make special considerations for families who do not have checking or savings accounts.
“The vast majority of unbanked or underbanked families are low-income and minority families,” Commissioner John O’Grady said.
“They’re the people who need this support the most and they deserve every cent they are due.”
Together the Commissioners and NAACP Columbus are asking local check cashers and payday lenders to charge minimal fees or waive them all together for Franklin County families who need to cash their federal stimulus checks or COVID-19 Response PRC payments.
“Families are facing unprecedented hardships right now, and by no fault of their own,” Commissioner Marilyn Brown said.
“When these checks arrive, we want to make sure that money is going toward whatever a family needs to weather this storm, not transaction fees or interest.”
The Commissioners and the NAACP Columbus are also calling on local banks to honor COVID-19 stimulus checks and COVID-19 Response PRC payments, regardless of whether the family has a bank account.
They are asking the institutions to waive fees on these government-administered assistance payments so that eligible families can make the most of this critical aid.
“Too many families – and a lot of ones that look like mine – don’t have bank accounts because there simply aren’t any banks or other financial services in their neighborhoods,” Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce said. “This is a chance for the financial sector to step up and do the right thing.”
The Commissioners and the NAACP Columbus appealed to community-based financial institutions and credit unions to answer the call as well.
“An all hands on deck response is needed during this unprecedent crisis,” County Administrator Ken Wilson said.
The NAACP Columbus, whose mission is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination, has remained in close communication with the Commissioners since the onset of the public health crisis.
NAACP Columbus President Nana Watson said the call for financial institutions to waive fees on government assistance payments is a proactive measure to ensure the COVID-19 pandemic does not exacerbate historic inequities.
“Our Commissioners see a real barrier, especially for many Black communities, and are taking action now to get ahead of it,” Ms. Watson said.
“We are all in this crisis together and we all have a part to play. I’m confident the financial sector will answer the call. Our families are counting on them.”
Earlier this week, the Commissioners authorized Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services to amend its Prevention, Retention and Contingency plan to create the new COVID-19 Response PRC Program. It was designed to provide eligible families with $500 in one-time cash assistance to help address emergent .
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