Nearly 10 million AmericaNs have applied for unemployment in the past two weeks, and about 276,000 Texans applied for unemployment last week. By one economist’s projection, Houston could lose 44,000 jobs by the end of the year due to the economic disruption caused by the spread of the coronavirus. Since everyone appears to be glued to Twitter feeds, the internet, and cable news (put down the remote and slowly back away, sir), you likely already know these grim stats.
What you might not know? There’s more help on the way for those most in need. The United Way of Greater Houston and the Greater Houston Community Foundation have joined forces to create the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund to help our city’s most vulnerable stay afloat during this disaster.
With an initial $1 million gift from the Houston Endowment—they’ll also match $1 for every $4 raised up to another $1 million—and more generous donations from JPMorgan Chase & Co, the Houston Texans Foundation, and Wells Fargo Foundation, the fund will be used to help Houstonians find basic needs, including food, health care, and shelter, not through direct individual grants, but through the services of local nonprofits in Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, and Waller counties (and, yeah, those services will likely include emergency financial assistance, judging by these anticipated community needs).
If you and your family need help right now with utilities, housing, rent assistance, access to senior services, transportation or food, you can call 2-1-1, the Texas/United Way HELPLINE, to get connected with help around the clock.