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C.O. home care service offering free care

Government funding is helping Touching Hearts at Home hire staff

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The price of at-home care can sometimes be too high for some, especially during these times. Touching Hearts at Home Central Oregon has found a way to offer its services for free.

Once COVID-19 hit, Steve Pine, the owner of Touching Hearts at Home Central Oregon, said the services by the home caregivers was turned away from assisted living facilities for safety measures. Many in-home patients also no longer required the services offered by Touching Hearts at Home because family members had more time to stay home.

With most of the care services income gone, Pine eventually applied for small-business loans, specifically the Paycheck Protection Plan.

As a result, in late April, Pine was able to add five part-time employees to his payroll, and he plans on adding two more.

"What this has allowed is to keep some of the former caregivers on and bring on new caregivers -- there are several now," Pine said. "(And to provide) part-time employment for those who were displaced through this COVID thing."

The funding also has allowed the home care service to offer free care to those that have been affected by COVID-19. That includes caregiving, food delivery and light housekeeping.

Taylor Bennett is one of the caregivers who was hired with funds through the Paycheck Protection Plan. Although Touching Hearts at Home is primarily for seniors, Bennett wants to help as many people as she can.

"You see everyone posting about how much they are struggling, all these people who have lost their jobs, all these people who are waiting for unemployment and have not gotten it," Bennett said. "So I think this is just a really good opportunity for people who are just in need with help or in need with a job."

Touching Hearts at Home Central Oregon does not offer medical services.

You can find more information about free services through Touching Hearts at Home Central Oregon's website.

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


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