Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund Invests Remaining $2.3 Million in Grants, Including Newly Launched COVID-19 Lost Loved One Fund
HOUSTON, TX (Oct. 1, 2020) – As families and individuals continue to face the lasting economic hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund is investing $2.3 million in emergency financial assistance grants. These investments will provide flexible financial aid to families that have lost a primary breadwinner or immediate family member due to COVID- 19, as well as emergency financial and rental assistance to residents of Fort Bend, Montgomery and Waller counties. This round of grants serves as the final investments made from the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund, as all contributions collected to date have now been distributed to support the most vulnerable families and individuals in our community.
The following organizations are receiving grant investments:
COVID-19 Lost Loved One Fund ($1,500,000): Grant to Memorial Assistance Ministries
to provide flexible financial assistance to families that have faced a loss of a primary breadwinner or other immediate family member due to COVID-19 in Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery and Waller counties. Each family will be provided $3,500 to address immediate/urgent needs such as funeral arrangements, rent/mortgage and utilities assistance. All individuals will receive information and referrals to grief counseling. Visit www.mamhouston.org/lostlovedone for more information.
Outlying Counties Rental Assistance ($500,000): This grant will provide emergency rental assistance to residents of Fort Bend, Montgomery and Waller counties. The following agencies will receive grants:
Fort Bend County: Catholic Charities ($75,000); Second Mile Mission ($75,000)
Montgomery County: Crisis Assistance Center ($56,000); Interfaith of The Woodlands ($56,000); Mission Northeast ($38,000)
Waller County: Family Houston ($100,000); WARM ($100,000)
LISC Houston ($300,000): This grant will be used to implement a COVID-19 eviction prevention pilot program that tests new facilitated landlord-tenant conversations in combination with rental assistance dollars with the goal of increasing the housing stability of vulnerable populations. The grant will be facilitated by LISC in partnership with area nonprofits.
Bo’s Place ($25,000): This grant will provide bereavement support for children whose families are receiving financial assistance through the COVID-19 Lost Loved One Fund. Funds support services such as an information and referral line staffed by mental health counselors, grief support groups and an online toolkit that provides information, videos and activities for families to utilize at home.
“Losing a loved one is never easy, and the pandemic and economic crisis has only made that grief and adjustment more challenging as some families are really struggling to rebuild their lives while in the midst of grieving,” said Stephen Maislin, President and CEO of Greater Houston Community Foundation. “These grants are meant to help ease the financial burden that is associated with the death of a family member while supporting the mental health needs of children and families who are struggling with their grief during this time.”
With this latest investment, the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund has provided $16.8 million in grants to support trusted nonprofits partners and grassroots charitable organizations in the four-county region. More information on grantees and donors can be found on the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund website.
“When this recovery fund was launched to respond to the sudden disaster conditions created by the pandemic, we stressed that no one fund or organization could address the widespread community needs created by this crisis,” said Anna M. Babin, senior advisor, United Way of Greater Houston. “Even as the remaining funds from the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund are now disbursed, the needs remain great. We will, as always, continue to focus on helping those most in need and it is clear that additional resources, such as federal relief funds, are urgently needed to address the magnitude of community needs this pandemic has created.”
In the coming months, both organizations will continue to convene area nonprofits to discuss and identify community needs related to COVID-19. Those who need assistance are encouraged to call the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE, the community’s key 24/7 information source during times of disaster.
United Way’s 211 provides callers with the most updated information on assistance with utilities, housing or rental assistance, crisis counseling, access to senior services, information on food pantries in the community and more. Assistance through 211 can also be accessed through the following methods in the event of long wait times due to periods of heavy call volume:
Visit www.211texas.org to search resources online or chat online with a specialist
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance