SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — As many businesses continue with limited operations and others remain closed altogether, many people are out of work and nearing financial ruin because of the pandemic.
“When you’re not getting a paycheck, you’re, you know, often people are just a couple paychecks away from being homeless,” San Joaquin County spokeswoman Jolena Voorhis told FOX40.
She said county supervisors are aware of the financial toll COVID-19 is having on families.
“I think there’s just a lot of people who are just struggling to get by because they haven’t been working,” Voorhis explained.
Last week, San Joaquin County announced a new $5 million family COVID-19 assistance program that is funded with county contingency dollars.
“We want to be able to be, to assist people to get through this, this time,” Voorhis said.
Low-income individuals or households can apply and be awarded up to a $5,000 grant to help with rent, mortgage and utility fees.
“I think our board really felt like we needed to help our residents just get through this last kind of few months before the vaccines are rolled out to the everyday citizens,” she said.
County officials said 262 applications have already been accepted and 500 more still need to be reviewed.
Voorhis said there’s a lot of poverty in the county so the need is great.
“People are so grateful for the money and that really makes me glad that we can do this for people. At the same time it’s really sad that this is happening, and that people are struggling,” she said.
The county said they’re awarding the grants on a first-come, first-serve basis so there’s a chance the county could run out of money before the Jan. 31 deadline.
They hope to send checks out 30 to 60 days after the deadline ends.
For those who would like to apply for the program, tap or click here.