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Black Lives Matter Groups Provide Utility Relief To Granite Staters Of Color

Heating System
File Photo, NHPR
Granite Staters of color can apply using a Google Form, and must submit their utility bill.

Black Lives Matter groups in Manchester and Nashua are providing financial relief to New Hampshire households that need help paying utility bills. 

Granite Staters of color can apply using a Google form. Applicants must attach their utility bill, but do not need to provide any other documentation.

For Jordan Thompson, an organizer with BLM Nashua, the simple application is about removing as many barriers as possible for applicants.

“We're targeting folks who are in need, who need the assistance, but we wanted to make it as accessible,” says Thompson “And, you know, we've got a lot of positive feedback about that, from some of our recipients. They said, you know, this is very easy to fill out on an iPhone.” 

At a time when households across the state have had their finances upended by the pandemic, with people of color disproportionately affected, the utility aid has already proven to be much needed. 

The application opened on March 4th and has helped over 30 families. The amount of aid dispersed has doubled the initial $5,000 the BLM groups allotted to the program, and is now at around $10,000.  

The funding itself comes from donations and grants the two BLM groups have received.

“It’s important for us to take the money that we do have and distribute it in a very intentional way,” Thompson says. “We could always donate to a nonprofit that's doing similar work. But we wanted to give it directly to the people because they entrusted us. Over the past year, they've looked for leadership on racial justice." 

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