City of Lubbock and other organizations offer COVID-19 relief

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — The City of Lubbock and other local organizations are still providing economic relief for those affected by COVID-19.

Karen Murfee, Director of Community Development at the city of Lubbock, said at the start of the pandemic, the city received funds from the Corona Relief Fund, which she said had to be processed quickly.

“We were allowed, at that time, to do an abbreviated application for utility assistance, rental assistance and mortgage assistance and child care through the Corona Relief Fund,” Murfee said. “That funding has now been expended, we still have a little bit of that left, but rental assistance was our highest demand.”

The city now has funding available from the Cares Act, which she said administers a different application and more criteria to be met.

“Anyone that applies for the funding has to prove that they have been affected by COVID in loss of income or reduction of income,” Murfee said.

She said that those seeking the rental assistance must provide a W-9 from their landlord or property manager so the city can write a check to the property owner. In addition, she said those who have previously received assistance would have to be evaluated.

Murfee said the City of Lubbock subbed out Care Act funds to Catholic Charities so they could offer rental assistance too. However, she said their criteria to qualify for funding relief is also different for them.

Sabrina Robbins, at Catholic Charities, said her organization can help families and individuals who don’t live in the city but still live within Lubbock County. She said, on average, her team gets 150 applications a week for emergency relief and limited staff.

“I know [people are] under a lot of stress, but we ask for [their] patience,” Robbins said. “I’ve had people that get really upset, and they want an answer, and we are still trying to process the applications we got last week.”

Robbins said they are also offering some utility assistance, food assistance and others.

Chris Martinez said she experienced financial hardship after she and her husband decided to quarantine after receiving an email that there had been a possible exposure at her child’s school.

She said she and her husband lost their jobs at a temp agency for failing to go through the probationary period.

Martinez recommends people act quickly and to not give up.

“If one of them did say no, go on to the next one instead of panicking,” Martinez said.

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