City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Resources for people in the service, events, music and other industries who are likely to be impacted most by new restrictions
As the new COVID-19 Orders on community gatherings, restaurants and bars are implemented, Austin-Travis County are highlighting the range of services provided by public sector and community and economic development partners to help people in the service, events, music and other industries who are likely to be impacted most by the restrictions.
“We understand that people will need resources during this difficult time,” said Christopher J. Shorter, Austin Assistant City Manager. “In anticipation of the impact of the new Orders, The City of Austin, Travis County, and our community partners are providing a range of services to help residents, workers and businesses who are likely to be most burdened by the new restrictions.”
“We are aware that the new Orders will impact all Austin businesses, especially our creative-sector workers and venues,” said Veronica Briseño, Director of Economic Development at the City of Austin. “Many of the resources we’re offering provide immediate support to ensure the economic and mental health of our local business owners, employees, and their families.”
People impacted by the new Orders are invited to visit the City of Austin COVID-19 webpage for up-to-date information about the Orders and additional services. Community members may contact 3-1-1 with questions about particular services. Additional resources are available here.
Below is a summary of some of the services being offered by the City and the County.
Austin Energy will not disconnect utility services. Additional Customer Assistance Programs are available for customers facing temporary and long-term financial difficulties, as well as serious medical problems. Residential and commercial customers can contact the Customer Care Contact Center at 512-494-9400 with any questions.
The Travis County Justices of the Peace have a standing order posted indicating there will be no eviction settings held until after April 1, 2020.
Eviction Resources are available to assist residents with legal assistance, emergency grants for rent or utilities, alternate housing, short-term motel vouchers, or placement in a local shelter.
Immediate Housing Needs
The Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD) Department offers information and referrals to assist impacted community members with immediate housing needs including resources for homeowners and resources for renters, including resources to avoid mortgage foreclosure and assistance for paying rent.
In partnership with Meals on Wheels, the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) will distribute curbside for seniors and their spouses (10 meals per person). Local school districts are also providing meals for their students. Visit the City of Austin COVID-19 website for up-to-date information.
The Economic Development Department is offering services for businesses who may find themselves struggling in the coming weeks. They include free business coaching, emergency planning resources, and a Family Business Loan Program. Businesses with questions about the new Orders are asked to call Austin 3-1-1.
Texas Workforce Commission is where people can apply for unemployment benefits. They also have a helpful tutorial to guide individuals through the process.
People with no insurance and no established provider experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath) should call CommUnityCare at 512-978-9015. CommUnityCare will triage people over the phone and send them to the appropriate location. We are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rapid-response protocol. People with no established provider should call the number above rather than come in to a clinic to prevent any potential spread of the virus.