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Telamon gets $131,000 grant

February 01, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A nonprofit organization that provides a variety of assistance to low-income people has received a $131,050 grant from the state.

The grant represents about 15 percent of Telamon Corp.'s budget of about $925,000 a year, said Executive Director Jim Dlosh.

The organization also receives funding from the U.S. departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Justice and Labor, Dlosh said.

Telamon, which has two offices in Martinsburg, helps low-income families obtain home-improvement loans and provides rent assistance, Dlosh said.

The organization also offers budget and credit counseling and an emergency food pantry for migrant workers. Additionally, it rehabilitates run-down homes in town for low-income families, Dlosh said.

Difficulty in paying rent on homes in the area is a common problem for families, Dlosh said.

A wage earner making $6 or $7 an hour may have difficulty paying $400 rent for his or her family, particularly if unexpected expenses such as hospital bills arise, Dlosh said.

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Telamon offers people in such situations rent assistance to prevent them from being evicted because of late rent payments, Dlosh said.

"We get calls every few days for folks in this situation," Dlosh said.

Telamon gave rent assistance to about 60 people last year, Dlosh said.

The organization provides budget and credit counseling to about 225 people a year and feeds more than 500 migrant workers every year through its emergency food pantry, Dlosh said.

Telamon employs four people at its office at 219 W. Race St. and six people at its office at 100 Williamsport Ave.

Dlosh said he makes about $54,000 a year as director. Dlosh said he could not say how much the other staff members earn but their salaries are in the $20,000 to $35,000 range.

The $131,050 awarded to Telamon is federal Community Service Block Grant funding distributed through the West Virginia Office of Economic Opportunity, Dlosh said.

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