SAN ANTONIO (July 2, 2020) – As the San Antonio community begins to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and households look for ways to become financially and housing stable and more resilient going forward, the City has opened a new Financial and Housing Recovery Center.
The City launched the Center’s services on Wednesday, July 1. Residents can access services by calling 210-207-5910 or by visiting the website at https://covid19.sanantonio.gov/fhrc. During the current COVID crisis and recovery, residents will be able to receive all services via telephone or video-call technology to protect their health and safety. In-person appointments can be arranged as needed. The center will follow all City and State protocols to ensure the health and safety of community members.
The Financial and Housing Recovery Center is part of the Recovery and Resiliency Plan for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Plan prioritizes community resilience, in an effort to ensure that households and businesses affected by COVID-19 have the resources and tools they need to become financially resilient and better prepared to withstand current and future economic challenges.
There are several City departments involved in implementing this initiative: Human Services, Neighborhood & Housing Services, and Economic Development. The Financial and Housing Recovery Center will offer access to various programs and services to include:
- Benefits navigation assistance – through Financial Benefits Navigators working with federal, state and local benefits providers and with community partners, to include services such as utility assistance, rent/mortgage assistance, unemployment, TANF, SNAP, or Medicaid
- Financial counseling – through the Financial and Housing Recovery Center, including budgeting, debt management, credit report education, and linking to positive products through Bank On San Antonio, etc.
- Fair housing counseling and rent/mortgage assistance – through the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department
- Pro bono legal representation for eviction cases – through Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
- Workforce assistance – through a variety of community partners such as Alamo College, Workforce Solutions Alamo, Project Quest, and Family Service, residents can access various paid training, education, and certification opportunities to obtain a better jobs that is accompanied by various wraparound support services
- Homeless services counseling – through one or more of the City’s delegate agencies, to assist homeless clients and San Antonio residents needing rapid rehousing
- Small business recovery assistance - through door-to-door outreach by community business organizations and dedicated small business hubs and resource centers, as well as grants through a partnership between the City and LiftFund to help business and non-profits with 20 employees or less
“The Financial and Housing Recovery Center will play a critical role in meeting the goals set forth in our Community Recovery and Resiliency Plan by helping to connect residents who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to services and programs. By coming together to address these challenges, we will be able to get through this unprecedented time and come out stronger than before,” City Manager Erik Walsh said.
Verónica R. Soto, Neighborhood and Housing Services Department (NHSD) Director, said, “In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the City launched the COVID-19 Emergency Housing Assistance Program and this initiative will help San Antonians recover from the crisis.”
Melody Woosley, Director, Department of Human Services, said, “The City is working closely with our nonprofit partners, including Family Service, to provide multi-service help to residents who have suffered financially during the COVID-19 recovery. There are a lot of San Antonians who have lost their job or had their hours reduced and are having trouble paying their rent or putting food on the table. These three centers will help residents get back up on their feet.”
Alejandra Lopez, Director, Economic Development Department, said, “Addressing the needs of our businesses and residents impacted by COVID-19 creates a valuable opportunity to collaborate with our non-profit and workforce development partners to increase the skill level and earning potential of our residents. While we are facing uncertain times, we know that training and skills development will be critical to our economic recovery and resiliency."
Mary E. Garr, President/CEO of Family Service, said, “The numbers of individuals and families who need financial and benefits counseling, workforce assistance, and other support services have only increased since the start of this pandemic, and the stressors they are experiencing are affecting not only their lives but tearing at the fabric of our community. Comprehensively addressing their immediate needs, while assisting them with their long-term recovery and financial viability, is critical to supporting them individually and to putting San Antonio back on a road to strong financial and economic health.”