If the COVID-19 pandemic has hit you in the wallet and you aren't quite able to pay your bills, the County of El Paso is here to help In a partnership with the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization/Border Interfaith and the Family Independence Initiative. They've created a fund to help struggling families with The El Paso County Covid-19 Emergency Relief Assistance Fund.

To be eligible, households must: Reside within the County of El Paso but outside the City limits of El Paso; have an income at or below 80% AMFI for the local El Paso County area or show eligibility for or enrollment in means-tested benefits programs such as SNAP; and provide documentation that they have experienced a financial hardship due to Covid-19.

At least 1,000 families will have access to up to $500 in unrestricted cash to help with the bills. The initial fund is going to be set at just over half a million dollars for 2020. El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said:

We have all read reports that nearly half of Americans do not have enough cash on hand to meet a $400 emergency. And that was before the Covid-19 pandemic closed businesses and stifled economic activity across the region. Many aid programs create backwards incentives, requiring people to show how needy they are instead of how resourceful they can be. FII turns the traditional model on its head. This approach will be a game-changer for many in El Paso.

As we continue to see our numbers in El Paso go up, we can expect things to stay the way the are for awhile. Businesses will continue struggle because we shouldn't be going out. But we can help out. If you are able to spare even a couple dollars, you can always help out at El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank. CLICK HERE to help out. You can still order curbside or delivery to support the businesses. Plus, be sure to kick in a little extra on the tip if you can because you know those servers aren't making what they used to.