Updated December 8, 2020
Hays County is sharing this list of resources for residents who have lost their jobs or need food, mental health support, or other assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources are also available for small businesses and nonprofits. Persons who need help and live within a city limit in Hays County should also check their city’s website for additional assistance that may be available.
Texas State University students have resources available to them here.
If you don’t need assistance: most of these (and other) agencies and nonprofits appreciate monetary donations during this time, and some need volunteers as well as they are serving many more than their usual number of clients.
Mental Health Support
It’s important during this pandemic event to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Individuals feeling extra stressed, depressed, anxious, or concerned because of the COVID-19 pandemic can call the Texas Health and Human Services Commission mental health support toll-free hotline at 833.986.1919. It operates 24/7.
COVID-19 Non-Emergency Hotline
Residents can call a hotline at 512.393.5525 with non-emergency COVID-19 questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Spanish speakers will be available. You can also check online in English and Spanish for symptoms, prevention, and treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms, call your health-care provider to describe your symptoms and get instructions. Do not drive directly to your clinic, urgent care center, or hospital. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms are severe.
The bipartisan CARES Act signed in March means that individuals and families within certain income ranges will receive financial assistance directly as will small businesses, healthcare providers, and others.
The Texas Workforce Commission has a lot of information about eligibility, programs, and a sign-up to get alerts about job opportunities especially for those who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19.
Some individuals could now be eligible for the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which provides funds to supplement family food purchases and has a limited program for single adults.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program can help eligible families with children (including a grandparent or other adult caring for a child).
The Hays County Food Bank holds drive-through and walk-up (social distancing is enforced) distribution locations for low-income families and persons experiencing a food emergency. Even if you do not meet the usual guideless for the Food Bank, if you have lost your job, or lost your sole provider, then you may be eligible for a set period of time. New clients are encouraged to call the Food Bank at 512-392-8300 to sign up beforehand to minimize time spent at the distribution sites.
The Women, Infant, and Children’s (WIC) program has temporarily expanded approved foods for clients who cannot find items typically on the program’s list. For more information or to apply visit the Central Texas WIC Facebook page or the WIC website.
The United Way for Greater Austin provides information about food, health, childcare and more. Call 211 to find help and resources related to COVID-19.
Hays County Commissioners Court approved a financial relief item, the Hays County COVID-19 Relief Program, which is being administered by Hays County and Blanco River Regional Recovery Team (BR3T) to provide assistance with mortgage, rent, and utility payments to residents of Hays County who can show COVID-related job loss, job reduction, or inability to work.
- Eligibility Period is March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020
- Applications must be received by December 22, 2020
- No extensions will be granted beyond this period
- Program Services will include mortgage/rent & utility assistance only
- Financial caps for assistance are modified as follows
- Single Person Home
- $1,500 per month – Mortgage/Rent
- $1,000 per month – Utilities
- Multi Family Home
- $2,400 per month – Mortgage/Rent
- $1,000 per month – Utilities
- Monthly Assistance will not exceed a 90 day or 3 month period
- Number of family members per household will be determined by those living in the home as of 3/1/2020
- Single Person Home
Grant applications will be evaluated based on need and awarded funds will range from $500 to $5,000. Applications will be accepted until December 22, 2020.
Community Action COVID-19 Relief Fund can help with paying utility bills. Learn more and apply on their website.
For those experiencing family violence, sexual assault, dating violence or child abuse in the community, the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center is ready to assist. Please call the 24-hour crisis HELPLine at 512-396-4357.
The Greater San Marcos Youth Council is offering resources for children and family members. Tips on reducing stress, activities for children, and other helpful information is online, and staff is available to help find additional resources.
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is assisting employees in the food service industry who are experiencing hardships because of COVID-19.
AuntBertha.com is a free service that shows by zip code many organizations that can assist in a variety of ways, such as food, medical care, job training, and more.
Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area: Persons seeking employment can call the Jobseekers Hotline at 1-844-344-2780, and the website has a portal to connect employers and jobseekers at www.workforcesolutionsrca.com/jobs-now.
Employers with job openings can contact firstname.lastname@example.org and also take advantage of programs on business recovery, including best practices for alternative work hours and shared work.
There’s a special program to find childcare for children of essential workers at 1-877-223-0404 or email@example.com.
Workforce Solutions is also holding online job training and job fairs. Find out more at this 2:46 video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/WKcMdD38EAc or on the Workforce Solutions website at https://workforcesolutionsrca.com/.
Help for Businesses
Small businesses and nonprofits can apply through the Small Business Administration for emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies with 500 or fewer employees. There are also changes to rules for expenses and deductions so that companies can keep employees on the payroll and stay open in the near-term. Small businesses that already have SBA loans may get help for payments.
As part of a county-wide collaboration, Hays County established the Emergency Cash Assistance Program (ECAP) grant fund, which will disperse $600,000 to local businesses. The ECAP Fund is designed for those small businesses located in Hays County that are struggling to sustain operations due to the COVID-19 health crisis and were unable to secure assistance via the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan through the CARES Act or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program through the US Small Business Administration.