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The Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund is disbursing $15 million to 44 local, community-based organizations that will provide vulnerable individuals and families support for housing, electricity, food, childcare and other essential needs. These trusted, high-performing organizations are actively supporting the community, and have a deep understanding of those impacted by the global pandemic. They will utilize funds to provide financial assistance to eligible individuals and families they are already engaged with.

“This first round of funding disbursement is an important step forward in helping our county’s most vulnerable, hard-working families,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “The economic fallout from COVID-19 has caused incredible financial hardship on our community and we’ll continue to do all we can to get relief to those that need it most. I’m proud to partner with the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the many nonprofits who have stepped up to make an impactful difference in Harris County.” 

Commissioners Court established the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide much-needed relief to Harris County residents most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The $30 million fund, which is administered by Greater Houston Community Foundation, aims to strategically serve a large number of the most vulnerable individuals and families, in particular county residents who may not be eligible for other COVID-related funding or assistance. 

“I’m extremely excited that our most vulnerable neighbors in the Harris County communities hardest hit by the pandemic are going to begin receiving financial relief. Our neighbors who have a greater risk of losing everything require support to meet their most basic needs of food, shelter, childcare and medical costs,” Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis said. “On behalf of Harris County residents, I give my sincere thanks to Greater Houston Community Foundation and the trusted nonprofits embedded in culturally and geographically diverse communities for getting this program up and running in a three-week period.”

Disbursement of the $15 million marks a significant milestone of the Fund’s first phase. In its second phase, the Fund will invite all eligible low-income Harris County residents to complete an application either online or over the phone. The application will screen for key eligibility criteria. 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 public application will open Tuesday, June 23 and Wednesday, June 24, 2020. More detailed information regarding eligibility requirements, how to access the application online and over the phone, and what residents will need to prepare for the application will be released in the coming week. The latest updates about the fund will be posted on the fund’s website at www.harriscountyrelief.org.  

“I am pleased to see this happening for so many in our communities who are struggling because of this pandemic. There is an urgent need, so there is no time to sit idly by,” said Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia. “This fund is intended to provide emergency financial assistance to families who need it the most and who are most at risk of being evicted from their homes. I am confident that our partners at The Greater Houston Community Foundation will do good a job managing this fund.”

Those in need of immediate assistance are encouraged to call 211 Texas/United Way helpline to find an organization in your geographic region that can serve you.