Coronavirus help: Montgomery County residents struggling with money losing patience

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — Montgomery County has millions to distribute for those in need, but some say the county isn’t acting fast enough.

The county said it’s doing what it can, but there is red tape, and what’s needed is patience. For those who are struggling to get by in the middle of a pandemic, patience is hard to find.

READ ALSO: 2nd stimulus check, trimmed $200 jobless benefit in Senate GOP HEALS Act stimulus proposal

Pamela Rodziewicz is among those who applied for county-administered help.

She submitted her application on July 1 and is still waiting for a response. She told ABC13 there are others in the same boat.

“We’ve had several people who are in desperate need of help, and I would like them to acknowledge that,” she said.

County leaders told Eyewitness News they’re working on it.

They said of the $105 million Montgomery County received through the CARES Act, the first chunk of money went to county infrastructure related to COVID-19. Then, $10 million of it is earmarked for housing and rent.

READ ALSO: Where Houstonians who can’t pay rent during COVID-19 can turn for help

The money started going out on July 14.

There is also money available for low income residents that helps with housing, rent, utilities, and prescriptions.

The county decides which program applies and then forwards the information to a contracted agency. Interfaith Ministries is one of the non-profits that is helping distribute the funds.

“At this point in time, I can tell you there is funding at all income levels if you can demonstrate that you’ve been impacted by COVID,” said Missy Herndon with Interfaith Ministries.

She said that once the county goes through an application, it then sends the information to a non-profit to finish the process.

It can take time, but Herndon said once Interfaith receives information on an applicant, they work to make contact within 72 hours.

In addition to the help for low and middle income residents, the county is hoping to spend another $65 million by giving $500 checks to homeowners regardless of income.

READ MORE: Montgomery Co. residents could be getting 2nd stimulus check

But up to this point, the federal government hasn’t said yes.

“While we still believe their guidance is accepting of our idea of a $500 stimulus, they won’t put that in writing which makes our entire court very nervous,” said James Noack, a Montgomery County commissioner, who first suggested the idea in April.

He said Tuesday if they don’t get the green light, they’re hoping to further help local businesses.

“We’re focused on the county and whatever we need to do to assist them. That possibly is part of this as well,” said Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough.

In all cases, the county said there are a lot of hoops to go through and they’re asking for people’s patience.

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