The pandemic forced many young parents, like Arleshia Baker, to quit their job to take care of their kids when schools and child service centers closed.
“As far as me finding another job that was going to give me the hours to be able to be home with my kids like that, it didn’t really make it easy. I lost a good job that was steady for me,” the Killeen mother of two.
She finally found a job earlier this year after months, In the meantime, car repairs, rent and other payments piled up, all while her family still needed clothes, food and other necessities.
Veshell Greene, Vice President of Resource Development with the United Way of Central Texas, says plenty of Central Texans are struggling to make ends meet.
“We get calls regularly. Some of them are directly because of COVID. Hours cut back or loss of a job, there are people just not making it,” she said.
The House narrowly passed a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package Wednesday, sending it to President Joe Biden's desk. Those making less than $75,000 a year will receive a one-time check of $1,400.
“It’s going to help me get back in school because I need to pay off my tuition. That’s something that I’ve been looking to do and I haven’t been able to save up the money to do so,” said Baker.
Couples earning less than $150,000 will also receive a $1,400 check. While the money won’t solve every problem, finance experts say it’ll be a big boost.
“Those who are ultimately in need will spend the money, and that will circulate in the community, and people spend it in both small and large businesses. That which gets spent in small businesses actually helps the community more,” explained Robert Tennant, Texas A&M Central Texas Interim Department Chair of Finance accounting and Economics.
President Biden is expected to sign the bill by the end of the week.