Disconnected: As utilities moratoriums expire, a veteran shares his shutoff worries

We all know the economic toll the coronavirus is taking. High unemployment and families are struggling with so many challenges—like paying rent and utilities bills—while our nation awaits a vaccine.

For some, just staying warm, or keeping the water running, is a daily challenge. FreshWater, in collaboration with the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative (NEO SOJO), has been following the struggles many residents face as utilities moratoriums end and shutoffs to water, heat, and electricity begin.


As of Nov. 9, 96,000 Cleveland residents wee behind on their water bills, while 28,000 Cleveland Public Power customers had balances more than 30 days past due.


The numbers are sure to increase as the pandemic continues.


Now WKYC 3News investigator Rachel Polansky reveals the raw hardships many are facing to stay connected, including U.S. Army veteran and Cleveland resident Terrance DeWalt. Hear his story and learn the latest from Molly Black, community navigation trainer and coach for United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 211 helpline in WKYC’s You Tube video.


This story is sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative, which is composed of 20-plus Northeast Ohio news outlets including FreshWater Cleveland and WKYC 3News. Reporters Rachel Dissell and Conor Morris contributed to this story.

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