COVID-19: UWGBACC' s Response and Updates UPDATES
Food Distribution – current list of local drive-up distribution sites is updated regularly on our Facebook page. Please visit and sign up to volunteer at https://volunteer.unitedwaygbacc.org/. Volunteer guidelines:
- All must wear a mask. Gloves will be provided.
- Over the age of 60 is not advised.
- No children please.
- Please arrive between 7:30-8am
- We will be on our feet and active, please dress accordingly.
- Hair should be put up or in a cap.
- We are following strict guidelines set forth by the Houston Food Bank/CDC, we need to all do our absolute best to adhere.
COVID 19 Emergency Grants were made possible because of individual donors and companies across the nation who gave generously to support the fund. More than $100,000 was distributed via COVID 19 grants to local agencies who continued to provide critical services to more than 12,000 individuals and their families. Here is a snapshot of the services provided to those in need:
Funds were awarded to:
- Bay Area Turning Point $5,000 to provide additional resources to prevent episodes of violence
- Baytown Resource & Assistance Center $38,000 to provide utility assistance
- Church Women United $27,601 to provide childcare for essential workers
- Hearts and Hands $8,500 to provide food to those who are home-bound and do not qualify for other food programs
- Love Network $20,000 to provide rental and prescription assistance
- Meals on Wheels $3,638 to provide food to 58 more individuals.
Information about the pandemic and vaccines:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Official Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health information. The CDC is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
- Harris County Public Health Official site for Harris County Health Department. Community resources, information and reports from the developing outbreak.
- Office of the Texas Governor - Coronavirus Updates Resources, updates and information from the Governor’s office.
- State of Texas Resources from all Texas State Agencies.
- Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs COVID-19 Housing Resources and Information.
- Texas Health and Human Services – Coronavirus Updates Resources for hospitals, healthcare professionals, local public health and community leaders in their response to COVID‑19. Mental Health Support Line.
United Way of Greater Baytown Area & Chambers County has opened a crisis fund to be used for future responses to crisis and/or disasters. To contribute, please visit our secure online donation page at https://www.unitedwaygbacc.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=1 or call 281.424.5922 for information on how to support UWGBACC's year round response.
Hearts and Hands The most basic of need is food; food insecurity is a lack of consistent access to enough food to support a healthy active lifestyle. As evidence by our service to over 74,000 individuals in 2019 a great need exists in our community. The onset of COVID-19 in March introduced not only a new set of obstacles in distribution but a change in demographics as we saw many furloughed, laid off or forced into unemployment. As Hearts and Hands' pantry doors had to close to the public and our main vehicle for mass distributions was via a drive thru model, a new way to serve our more vulnerable populations had to be found; Doorstep Blessings was born out of this challenge. Getting food to our seniors, disabled, quarantined and others who face significant barriers such as transportation became our focus and has become a great success. The program that started as a pilot delivering to individual homes quickly expanded to low-income senior living sites and low-income apartment complexes.
Multiplying resources, we joined forces with the City of Baytown in late July under the COVID-CDBG and are expanding our scope of service as other agencies/ministries join in the delivery process for even larger distributions. We are so very thankful for the support of the UWGBACC providing COVID-19 funding to impact our neighbors in need in a manner that goes above and beyond during these unprecedented times.
Bay Area Turning Point When Christine first came to Bay Area Turning Point (BATP) she had been experiencing domestic violence by her spouse who was also an alcoholic for nearly 30 years. Christine was faced with the burden of having to financially support the entire household on her own, while tending to her husband’s medical needs and balancing time to be a supportive parent. Christine was at the point where she felt hopeless and lost with no idea what to do next. Christine came to BATP seeking any kind of help she could receive. After meeting with one of our Advocates, Christine was able to make the decision to apply for a protective order. Christine was also able to gain resources on how to file for divorce, and began utilizing counseling services. Christine had the support of her Advocate for court accompaniments as she went through her protective order and divorce processes. Christine also began to discover who she was as an individual, and started to increase her self-esteem through counseling.
Unfortunately, Christine began to experience hardships once again when COVID-19 caused her to lose her job. Christine turned to BATP once more for resources and was able to use counseling services to help her learn how to apply for jobs, and brush up on her resume. BATP was also able to help Christine financially by utilizing a grant to help her cover some utility bills and keep food on the table until she is able to get back on her feet. Christine is currently in the process of interviewing for jobs and has more confidence in herself as a result of all the support she has through BATP.
Love Network An undocumented family of 4 lost their jobs washing cars during the months of May and June as the business closed down. Mom and Dad both worked there and they have 2 children. They worked for cash. They do not qualify for unemployment. The family is without resources to pay rent. Mom is making food plates to try to sell and Dad is just going back to work but hours are cut and work is slow. We assist with $300 for 2 months. We also referred to Cedar Bayou Baptist Church for food assistance. I do not have a photo of this family, but we will have a photo for next time.
Baytown Resource and Assistance CenterIt has been a great challenge to find ways to serve our community with all the new safety protocols. The first few weeks, we were working remotely and had to transfer the agencies lines to our personal phones. Our clients were able to get their paperwork to us through e-mail, text or download to our website. We have spent hours upon hours helping clients learn how to use e-mail, how to text pictures and how to download to our website. As easy as it would have been for us to tell them to have a friend or family member help them, we didn't have the heart to. Eventually, we had to let everyone know to leave a message and we would have to call them back as we were always busy with clients. We tried our best to get back to everyone as soon as possible. At the beginning, we were getting calls from people who wanted to know what resources were available just in case they needed them later. Service providers had paused payments during the pandemic until further notice. Eventually, we started getting calls from people who desperately needed our assistance as service providers had un-paused payments and owed months of service.
We have been able to assist households who have lost income but do not qualify for any other government assistance. Those who work cleaning homes, cutting yards, side jobs and small construction projects. Also, households whom have never had financial troubles but due to the pandemic are on the verge of losing everything. Even, individuals who were not fortunate enough to receive a stimulus.
We recently assisted a family whose parents had invested all of their savings into a food truck just before the pandemic. It is hard to hear the husband almost in tears explain his situation. They poured all their dreams and future into this food truck which, they cannot fully operate because of the restrictions due to the pandemic. He has now given up on the dream of having his own business. He is currently looking for employment and does side jobs to get by.
Another family who was assisted with COVID-19 funds:
Ms. Esperanza is a single parent with seven children, five girls and two boys. Her husband was deported a few years back and she has been taking care of all seven children on her own. She lives in a run down, one bedroom, garage apartment that she can barely afford. She has been making ends meet by doing odd jobs. She bakes and sells cheesecakes, works installing sheetrock and cleans homes. She came to us seeking assistance with her water bill. She was days from being disconnected and had no income to pay the dues. We were her last resort, her landlord was threatening to evict her and she was afraid socials services would get involved. We were able to assist her with her water bill and her services were not disconnected.
Church Women United I’m a single mother of 2 young boys. I’m not from Texas and I have no family members near to help me keep my boys while I’m at work. I would like this child care assistance because although I work really hard, I still run behind on bills, rent, insurance and all other living expenses. This assistance will help me put those extra finances towards something else that I may need such as diapers, wipes and formula or I can use to on something that needs to be paid off. Without the help for child care tuition I would have to keep the boys with me which means I couldn’t go back to work; which will put me in greater debt. I will be very grateful with any help that can be given to me and my boys. Thank you, Jasmine