COVID-19 Resources

Ver en español

Important Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic:

We know that there will be serious short- and long-term consequences due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This includes individuals who become sick, as well as those who are affected by business and school closures. Many families lack the necessary savings to withstand an emergency or a sudden loss of wages, and they may experience unprecedented financial hardship. The demand for affordable childcare and emergency food and financial assistance will increase exponentially for these families.

Use the links below to learn more about available resources and ways to receive help.

Assistance with Basic, Medical, Employment and Financial Needs:
  • Memorial Assistance Ministries
    MAM’s COVID-19 Response Plan:
    To help families and individuals in need of assistance, MAM has developed the COVID-19 Response Program. Its goal is to help families build a strategic plan to get through this crisis, provide the financial assistance to meet shortfalls and offer support to accomplish their goals now and in the future.
    Information and Referrals are the starting point for all families and individuals, providing guidance on the actions they should take now to address the crisis (contacting landlords, vehicle lienholders, unemployment offices, etc.). MAM staff will provide those calling for help with resources to address their immediate needs. Those who qualify will be referred to different agencies, including food banks, animal shelters, etc.
    Families that meet MAM’s qualification criteria could receive Financial Assistance to maintain basic needs. Qualified families are those living within MAM’s 17 zip code service area and who have lost income due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
    Stability Coaching is the pivotal, multifaceted program that will help those who have permanently lost their employment take action to build stability for the future. Employment Coaches will help them build new résumés and access skills to regain meaningful employment. Financial coaches will teach families how to build and manage a household budget, build credit and other skills to lead the family to financial self-sufficiency.
    Mental health counselors are available to help families deal with stress and anxiety, which increase during times of uncertainty.
    Once immediate needs are addressed, the hope is to get families on the path from barely surviving to financial stability to thriving.
    MAM is currently offering services remotely. Visit MAM’s website for their Remote Services Contact Information. Services include:
    – Emergency Financial Assistance
    – Employment Services
    – English as a Second Language
    – Citizenship Classes
    – Financial Education
    – Immigration Legal Services
    – Mental Health Counseling 
  • West Houston Assistance Ministries
    Due to the CoronaVirus, assistance procedures have temporarily changed. Through May 31, financial assistance interviews will take place Monday through Thursday over the phone only at 713.780.2727 extension 200 for zip codes 77042, 77057, 77063, 77077 and 77082. Food assistance for any zip code will be done in a drive-thru model Monday-Friday, starting at 10:30 am until supplies last. During this extraordinary crisis, you may receive food assistance once every 2 weeks, if needed. Employment Services are available to all zip codes. Click HERE for documentation and more details. Please check this page for updates and to know when our procedures normalize.
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston Houston
    Catholic Charities continues to offer services in a modified manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. While they are not seeing clients face-to-face, they are providing some assistance through “drive-thru” food pantry services, and tele-communications with case managers, counselors, and other staff.
    All COVID-19-related client requests must come through a centralized system. Call 713.227.9981.
  • United Way of Greater Houston
    If you or someone you know needs help getting through these uncertain times, dial 211. Help is available in many different languages. The 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE connects callers with critical health and human service programs such as:
    • Basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, rent and utility assistance
    • Physical and mental health service, including support groups, counseling and rehabilitation
    • Financial assistance for job training
    • Programs for seniors such as home-delivered meals, respite care, and home health care.
  • Fair Haven Food Pantry is open through drive-by model. Call 713.467.4363
  • Gallery Furniture
    Seniors and children are eligible for one grab-and-go meal per car, including breakfast with juice and lunch with milk from 7 am – 8 pm daily at the Gallery Furniture at 6006 North Freeway. Gallery Furniture volunteers are also delivering care packages to disabled community members and senior citizens. Contact Gallery Furniture for more information at 713.694.5570 and updates.
  • Spring Branch Independent School District
    The Communities in Schools (CIS) workers are still assisting families. Families with children in SBISD who need assistance are advised to contact their child’s school’s CIS program.
  • Chapelwood’s Year-Round Mana Program
    Chapelwood’s Year-Round Mana Program is still open and assisting families. They only take referrals through SBISD. You are advised to contact your child’s school’s counselor or social worker for a referral.
  • Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs: Temporary relief options for those unable to pay mortgage or rent
    The stimulus package passed by Congress Friday includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions by landlords with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae, HUD, Freddie Mac, the rural housing voucher program, or the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Individuals who have mortgages through these entities may also qualify for suspended or reduced payments during this time. Landlords cannot charge any late fees or penalties for late payment of rent.
    For renters, there are ways to get help from the government through grants.
    The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs receives “emergency solutions grants” which can help people who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless. The TDHCA often redistributes those grants to city and/or county agencies. As with any grant, people must meet eligibility requirements to get them, and the process for a renter to get an emergency solutions grant can take roughly 1-2 months. The providers listed on the Help for Texans section of their website may get funding through TDHCA or other resources. Contact them and apply for help. 
  •  Additional Information on Payment of Rent, Mortgage and Other Loans
    From rent to taxes, here’s a roundup of bills postponed by coronavirus
    Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac
    will let borrowers facing hardship defer two months of mortgage payments.
    Bank of America customers who need help making credit card and/or mortgage payments can submit an online request for a payment deferral.
    Capital One customers’ options include minimum payment assistance, deferred payments on loans, and waived fees.
    Most banks and credit card companies are handling things on a case-by-case basis, so you won’t know what kind of assistance you may qualify for until you call.
    Student Loans: Until September 30, there will be automatic payment suspensions for any student loan held by the federal government.
    Auto Loans: You can defer your auto loan payment for up to 120 days with Ally Bank. They won’t charge any late fees, but finance charges will still accrue for non-lease accounts. You must log in to defer payments.
    See this article for additional information on which bills to pay when you can’t pay them all. It lists several of the utility companies, banks, etc. who are deferring payments or at least not disconnecting services. It also talks about how to determine which bills should be prioritized and paid first.
  • Assistance with Utilities
    The City of Houston
    has suspended disconnections of water and electricity to individuals who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 emergency at least through the end of April.
    CenterPoint Energy is not cutting gas services for lack of payment at this time (no end date has been given).
  • Medical Assistance
    Spring Branch Community Health Center
    SBCHC has 6 community health centers in the Spring Branch, West Houston, Katy, and Cy-Fair area as well as appointments via telemedicine ready to meet healthcare needs. They offer affordable, high-quality healthcare with services that range from family medicine, women’s healthcare, pediatrics, dental care, back-to-school vaccinations, flu shots, and physicals. They accept Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, and all private insurance. Call to make an appointment at 713.462.6565
    WIC – Spring Branch Community Development Center
    is still operational. Call 713.500.2800 extension #3.
  • Unemployment
    If your employment has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, apply for benefits either online at Unemployment Benefit Services (UBS) or by calling the Texas Workforce Commission’s Tele-Center Center at 800.939.6631 from 8 am to 6 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday. TCW is experiencing an increase in call volumes and hold times on Tele-Center phone lines. You are encouraged to use the online claim portal to handle your claim needs quickly. Unemployment Benefits Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You are encouraged to sign up for Electronic Correspondence so you can receive your TWC communications online as soon as possible. Extended Benefits (EB) and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) are not available at this time.
    Career One Stop
    The U.S. Department of Labor and other government agencies have resources to help workers and employers respond to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. You may access that information through their website.
  • Current Employment Opportunities
    Our Employment Ministry keeps an updated list of current job leads. You can access it here.
  • Financial Advice in Times of Crisis
    Find helpful information and resources on how to remain financially healthy during this time of uncertainty.
    Watch Dave Ramsey’s A Message of Hope for insightful information on how to face the financial crisis due to COVID-19
  • Tax Payment & Flood Insurance Assistance
    Taxpayers will have an extra 90 days to pay any federal taxes they owe. The deadline for 2019 payments is July 15, 2020.
    The Harris County Tax Office is providing a three-month extension of all 12-month delinquent property tax payment plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Property owners who are currently on 12-month property tax payment plans will not have to make payments for three months. Property owners with 12-month installment payment plans will not have to make payments for March, April, or May 2020. Late fees, however, will still be assessed.
    FEMA is extending the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days. The extension applies to flood insurance policies with an expiration date between February 13 to June 15. FEMA flood policy customers will have 120 days after the policy expiration date to review, and there will be no lapse in coverage. Typically, customers have a 30-day grace period to renew policies.

  • Important Resources for Seniors:
  • Emotional & Mental/Behavioral Health:
    • Free Counseling Services from Catholic Charities
      Life in the pandemic can be stressful.  Catholic Charities has expert bilingual counselors who can help for free during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Call Catholic Charities’ Mental Health Line from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to request a session, and a licensed counselor will call you back within a day.  Call 713.874.6590
      Catholic Charities is also offering free mental health counseling services to mothers and fathers who are experiencing parenting and pregnancy-related mental health issues.
      Catholic Charities is also accepting new clients with a wide range of mental health concerns, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, trauma, or grief. Clients will be assessed by the intake staff. Fees are based on a sliding scale. Anyone requiring these services is asked to call the intake line at 713.874.6590. 
    • Emotional Health
      Crisis Text Line provides free, confidential support 24/7. Text CRISIS to 741741 to be connected to a crisis counselor.
      Contact the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET, email, or text NAMI to 741741. NAMI specializes in working with anyone with a mental health issue, including anxiety.  
      Betterhelp is one way to get matched with a licensed mental health care provider who will talk with you over the phone or email. With BetterHelp you can get counseling from professional, licensed and vetted counselors for $40 to $70 per week (billed monthly). Unlike traditional in-office therapy which can cost $150-$250 for a single session, your BetterHelp membership includes unlimited messaging as well as weekly live sessions (video, phone or chat).
      Shield Bearer Counseling Centers (COVID-19) Response
      Shield Bearer Counseling Centers offer counseling sessions through tele-therapy. If you have questions or would like to discuss a tele-therapy appointment please call their main number: 281.894.7222. If the call goes to voicemail, please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
      To be sure you or your family do not have to wait in a busy, crowded emergency center unless you really need to, call Ask My Nurse at 713-634-1110. Experienced nurses are available to help you and answer your questions 24/7 daily.
    • Mental & Behavioral Health for Adults
      Disaster Distress Helpline (800-985-5990) or text TALKWITHUS to 66745 for free. 
      Well Connected – is a community for seniors that engages and connects people from the comfort of their own homes, online, and over the phone. Participants find companionship, information, and intellectual stimulation through a wide array of programs. Each Well Connected session offers groups and classes on a wide range of topics. And Well connected meets 365 days a year, so there’s always a chance to connect. Free of charge. 
      Mental Health America of Greater Houston shares important ways to lessen anxiety secondary to COVID-19. Read more.
  • Eating Right and Staying Physically Fit:
    The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics provides resources that align with the CDC’s messaging and offer science-based information about supporting health with good nutrition.

For additional resources, visit Houston Responds’ web page.