Help in Hays County

Hays County residents who have lost their jobs or need food or other assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic have some resources available, as do small businesses and nonprofits. Persons who need help and live within a city limit in Hays County should check their city’s website for additional assistance that may be available.

If you’re reading this and don’t need assistance: most of these (and other) agencies and nonprofits appreciate monetary donations during this time, and some need volunteers as well as they are serving many more than their usual number of clients.

The bipartisan CARES Act signed in March means that individuals and families within certain income ranges will receive financial assistance directly as will small businesses, healthcare providers, and others.

There have been changes to Unemployment Assistance due to the federal stimulus bill that passed recently. For instance, some self-employed, contract workers, or persons who worked in a position that did not report wages may now qualify. TWC will be waiving work search requirements for all claimants and the waiting week for those claimants affected by COVID-19. If you recently exhausted benefits, there’s no need to reapply – you will be contacted by mail or email.

This link takes you to the Texas Workforce Commission, which has a lot of information about eligibility, programs, and a sign-up to get alerts about job opportunities: https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-job-seekers

Some individuals could now be eligible for the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides funds to supplement family food purchases and has a limited program for single adults.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program can help eligible families with children (including a grandparent or other adult caring for a child). More information is at https://yourtexasbenefits.hhsc.texas.gov/programs/tanf/families.

The Hays County Food Bank holds drive-through distribution locations for low-income families and persons experiencing a food emergency. Even if you do not meet the usual guidelines for the Food Bank, if you have lost your job, or lost your sole provider, then you may be eligible for a set period of time.

The Women, Infant, and Children’s (WIC) program has temporarily expanded approved foods for clients who cannot find items typically on the program’s list. For current updates visit the Central Texas WIC Facebook page or the WIC website.

The United Way for Greater Austin provides information about food, health, child care and more. Call 211 to find help and resources related to COVID-19.

For those experiencing family violence, sexual assault, dating violence or child abuse in the community, the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center is ready to assist. Please call the 24-hour crisis HELPLine at 512-396-4357.

The Greater San Marcos Youth Council is offering resources for children and family members. Tips on reducing stress, activities for children, and other helpful information is online, and staff is available to help find additional resources.

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is assisting employees in the food service industry who are experiencing hardships because of COVID-19.