Life with MS

Emergency Assistance Grant

By Kimani Hendricks

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to slow down, bringing most man-made plans to a screeching halt. Nonessential businesses closed, and everyone was instructed to stay indoors. While some could work from home, others weren't as fortunate, and found themselves facing challenges that were unimaginable just weeks before. If nothing else, this situation should remind us all that we do not know what may be around the bend. Anyone can find themselves in a financial crisis.

With this knowledge in mind, MS Focus offers the Emergency Assistance Grant. This one- time-only service is available to individuals who find themselves in danger of eviction and need money for rent, or those at risk for losing a utility, such as water, electricity, heating oil, and phone services. It may also cover emergency lodging or disaster relief.

An applicant must explain why they fell behind and how the bill will be paid going forward. From there, the committee determines how they can help. In some cases, a client's need exceeds the limits of the program. But that doesn’t mean the Foundation can’t help. Sherrol Patterson, associate director of Homecare and Patient Assistance Programs for MS Focus, walks us through that process. “If the bill is more substantial than our budget, my team and I look for other resources. We email the client a list of local organizations that may be able to assist them, and then coordinate with any that provide a positive response. We work together with the clients and our fellow nonprofits, so hard work gets done on both ends.”

MS Focus collaborates with several organizations, including the National MS Society, the Salvation Army, United Way, and Catholic Charities, to cover an applicant’s outstanding charges.

Britney of Alpharetta, Ga., found relief after getting stuck between a rock and a hard place. “I was able to locate this wonderful program by researching online for support services for people with multiple sclerosis. It was my first time receiving help from MS Focus, and I requested rental assistance during the current COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful to be a recipient of the Emergency Assistance Grant from MS Focus. Their support reduced my financial strain and eliminated stress. Thank you for your assistance during a difficult period of my life!”

If you are living with MS and find yourself in a financial crisis, you can apply for our Emergency Assistance Grant online at If your application is approved, the Emergency Assistance team will work side-by-side with you to find the funds to meet your needs.