Commissioner Ellis announces COVID-19 relief fund for rent, utilities, child care and food

Harris County Commissioners Court took a much-needed first step to help the most vulnerable in our community by approving a $15 million COVID-19 Relief Fund that will provide support for rent, food, medical care, childcare and other expenses. If approved by the Harris County Attorney’s Office, the fund will provide direct assistance to county residents who are in the most need.

“Due to the strict and exclusionary guidelines of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, federal support will not reach all residents, especially those who need the most support,” Commissioners Ellis said. “Only by helping the most vulnerable in our community, including students and adults with disabilities who are listed as dependents, undocumented immigrants, domestic violence survivors, people experiencing homelessness and children who have aged out of foster care, will we truly recover from this crisis.”

The relief fund will follow the distribution model created for the Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund and will be managed by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which has the capacity to administer and coordinate the distribution of the relief fund to all residents through its existing network of nonprofit safety providers.

We are committed to ensuring all people have equitable access to recovery efforts and will keep you updated as the COVID-19 Relief Fund moves forward.

Vote-by-Mail for Upcoming Elections

To avoid the spread of COVID-19 during our elections, Commissioners Court approved the expansion of mail-in ballots and funding the necessary infrastructure needed for implementation for the July and November elections. Preparation is necessary, and we are committed to protecting the right to vote, even during a global pandemic.

No one should put their health at risk to exercise their right to vote. To ensure that this year’s election and all future elections are fair, safe, accessible, and secure, we must embrace a comprehensive, proactive plan to protect voting rights. When elections occur, every vote should count.

COVID-19 Testing

Free testing for COVID-19 is more convenient than ever. Harris County Public Health and the City of Houston have opened multiple testing sites throughout our community. If you believe you have COVID-19 or if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, please get tested.

Harris County Public Health:

If you think you might have #COVID19, you can get tested at no cost. Complete the newly simplified screening tool https://covidcheck.hctx.net to get access to Harris County Public Health’s drive-through or mobile testing sites.
No online access? Call 832-927-7575.

City of Houston:

Mobile COVID-19 testing is now available for anyone and no appointment is needed. The mobile site will be open from 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Friday and 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday at the following locations:

• Kashmere Multi-service Center: April 28-May 2
• Hiram Clarke Multi-service Center: May 5- May 9
• Third-Ward Multi-service Center: May 12- May 16
For questions please call: 832-393-4220

Fighting Hunger During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We must continue to protect vulnerable communities, especially those in need of food. Precinct One staff continues to combat hunger and fight food insecurity by delivering food to Precinct One residents. Teaming up with the Houston Food Bank (HFB), our team is delivering food to the doorsteps of residents to help provide 640,000 pounds of food per week.

Staff members have also been sorting and packing food boxes three days a week so they can be delivered to residents’ homes. We hear your needs and remain committed to helping residents access food during these unprecedented times. If you are in need of food, please call the HFB helpline at 832-369-9390.

Resource Guide

Our Precinct One team has prepared a COVID-19 Resource Guide that has a lot of good information and trusted sources to help you and your family stay up to date, safe and healthy during this pandemic. Please see what resources are available for you.

• English version: http://bit.ly/COVIDResourceGuide