HOUSTON – Harris County residents can apply for assistance from the county’s coronavirus relief fund until Wednesday night.
The second round of disbursements will happen after the public application process, which ends at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
The first round of disbursements from the $30 million fund happened nearly two weeks ago when 44 charities across the county were given a total of $15 million.
In order to qualify for assistance, recipients must:
- Be eligible for and receiving services from a long list of public benefits programs OR be under 60% of area median income.
- Be a resident of Harris County.
- Have been economically impacted by COVID-19.
- Not have received funding from a City or County COVID-19 financial assistance program.
The application is posted at harriscountyrelief.org. People can also apply by calling 832-848-0214. Hidalgo said the application should not take longer than 10 minutes to complete.
Hidalgo said people who apply will be entered into a randomized drawing with the most vulnerable people getting more entries in the drawing. People will be notified on Friday if they were selected during the drawing. Once selected, people will undergo a final verification screening to ensure they qualify for the money.
Hidalgo said she expects about 20,000 families will receive between $1,200 and $1,500 in assistance.
You can watch a replay of Hidalgo’s news conference below:
Laura Jones worked with a local non-profit organization and was furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When you’ve been off work for a while, things start to pile up,” said Jones.
Because of wait times and technical issues applying, it took Jones 30 minutes to apply.
“The first time, I did that six times, and someone called me and said, ‘Just forget it. I’ve tried to get in, just forget it,’” said Jones.
She said the assistance would help her tremendously.
“When you fall behind, that’s when things start to pile up, late fees, and then you can’t catch up so I’m trying to keep my head above water,” said Jones.
The county said they were working to resolve the issues and they had an increased number of operators answering calls.
KPRC 2′s Bill Spencer spoke to a resident who had problems filing for relief