As a part of the CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Housing and Development has granted $2.3 billion to be used to support homeless assistance programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has often been compared to the recession of 2008, and for some even the Great Depression, due to the large economic downturn set off by the virus.
“I think that a recession like you had in 2008 or previous they come on rather gradually, you see it coming, but maybe you’re in too deep before you can stop it. But... no one saw this coming," said Salvation Army - Waco's Commanding Officer Major Jim Taylor.
In the state of Texas, 203 programs were approved to receive over $113 million in funding for homeless assistance programs. One of those programs is right here in McLennan County.
“We hired two case managers that are solely focused on homeless prevention and rapid rehousing programs," said Salvation Army Grants Manager, Meredith Donovan. "It’s allowed us to serve over 60 clients at this point and provide several thousands of dollars worth of assistance for those families.”
The Salvation Army received a smaller amount for the first round of grants around March of last year. In 2021, they were renewed for the second round which will go towards those who need assistance with housing and utilities.
“I think most people thought... 3-4 months we are out of this and back to normal," said Major Taylor. "We’re not. And so now you have a lot of families who have been impacted and lost significant income and they just cant catch up.”
“We don’t want you to wait until the last minute when your water is getting ready to be cut off tomorrow before you reach out for help. If you’re late now, call now so we can get the process started before its too late,” said Donovan.
In order to receive help you must call the Salvation Army nearest you to see if you qualify for assistance. The number for the Salvation Army in Waco is (254)756-7271.