Food

Hays County Food Bank


The Hays County Food Bank is open and can be reached at (512) 392-8300. Starting the week of March 23rd, Hays County Food Bank will shift their food distribution schedule. They will re-evaluate at the beginning of May. Distribution Schedule

  • Tuesdays at 12:00 PM: Kyle - St. Anthony's Catholic Church (801 N. Burleson)
  • Wednesdays at 6:00 PM: San Marcos - San Marcos Recreation Center (170 Charles Austin Dr.)
  • Thursdays at 12:00 PM: Buda - Connection Church (1235 S. Loop 4)
Please limit the amount of people in your vehicle and have a clear space ready for your food items. Precautions Hays County Food Bank is following:
  1. All distributions will be bagged, open-air, and drive through with limited interpersonal contact.
  2. If you are sick, do not go to a distribution. Designate a proxy to pick up on your behalf.
  3. If you are at a higher risk for contacting this virus, please designate a proxy to pick up on your behalf.
  4. The food bank's offices are closed to the public. They are accepting donations, but please call to schedule a drop-off time at (512) 392-8300 x230.
  5. All nutrition classes are cancelled until the end of April.
  6. Hays County Food Bank needs usable totes to distribute food in. They can be dropped off at the food bank.
  7. Check Hays County Food Bank's phone system, social media, and website for any changes in distributions.




Blanco Good Samaritan Center


The Blanco Good Samaritan food pantry is open Monday - Friday from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The food pantry is located at 607 Chandler Drive, Blanco, Texas 78606. They can be reached at (830) 833-5269 or its affiliate, the Central Texas Food Bank, at (512) 282-2111. As of March 19, the thrift store is closed and the center cannot accept donations at this time.




Dripping Springs Helping Hands


PANTRY HOURS curbside/car service only Wednesdays 1:30PM-3:00PM Thursdays 5:00PM-6:30PM If you need financial assistance, call (512) 820-0476 Rules and regulations For more information, go to https://www.helpinghands-drippingsprings.org




Wimberley Meals on Wheels


How to get Meals on Wheels:

If you would like to receive meal delivery or participate in congregate meals or if you know someone who would benefit from this program, please call (512) 847-1781

More information here.




Wimberley Crisis Bread Basket


For assistance, call 512-847-5323. Find more information here.




St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church


For assistance, call (512) 858-5667. Provides a food pantry onsite and grocery store vouchers (when funds are available) that can be used for food, prescription drugs, and hygiene products. Find more information here.




Hays County Schools


Find more information about school lunches that are available for pickup here.





Housing

Federal and State Updates to Housing


March 20, 2020 — The Texas Supreme Court has issued an emergency order suspending residential evictions in the state until April 19 unless there is a threat of physical harm or criminal activity. According to the court’s latest order, landlords who have obtained a court-ordered eviction cannot follow through until after April 26, when legally required notices can once again be posted on a rental unit’s front door advising tenants about the specific time and date that possession of the property will end. March 18, 2020 — President Trump directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to suspend evictions and foreclosures through April. This applies only to homeowners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a HUD agency that backs affordable home loans issued through private firms. Additionally, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) also announced that it would suspend foreclosures and evictions for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.




Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs


Help for Texans Tool: Select the type of help you need — including reduced rent apartments and emergency and homeless services — enter your city or county, and get a list of organizations that may be able to help you. Haga clic aquí para obtener información en español.
For homeowners struggling to make payments due to COVID-19 who have Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac backed mortgage loans, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) recommends contacting your lender to see if you qualify for reduced/suspended payments. For more information, click here.

To contact TDHCA, visit their website for a complete list of phone numbers. En español: https://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/au_offices-es.htm




Housing & Urban Affairs


Visit the Deparatment of Housing and Affairs website to access resources for individuals and providers in need of assistance. Haga clic aquí para obtener información en español.




San Marcos Housing Authority


Friday, March 20, 2020 — Following the lead from the City of San Marcos, the San Marcos Housing Authority (SMHA) will close its doors to the public at 12 p.m. and will not reopen until further notice. The San Marcos Housing Authority is committed to providing a safe and healthy housing community for all residents, staff, contractors, and visitors during this pandemic coronavirus COVID19. The Housing Authority can be contacted by phone at 512-353-5058 or online. All payments can be placed in the night drop slots at Allen Woods, Springtown Villa, C. M. Allen, and Chapultepec as appropriate.





Unemployment

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits


Those filing for unemployment can submit an application on the Texas Workforce Commission's website or by calling 800-939-6631 from 8 AM - 6 PM, Monday through Friday. Here's what information you will need to apply, according to the commission:

  • Last employer's business name and address
  • First and last dates you worked for your last employer
  • Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked this week
  • Information on your normal wage
  • Your A-number, if not a U.S. citizen or national
After filing your claim, electronic notifications related to your unemployment benefit application are available. Here's more information on how to apply for benefits.




Additional Resources


For more information regarding unemployment, visit the Texas Workforce Commission's COVID-19 Resources page for jobseekers here. Those in need of work can search for jobs at WorkInTexas.com.




Governor and TWC Waive Requirements to Receive Unemployment


March 17, 2020 — Governor Greg Abbott waived the 10-day waiting period that is usually required before an individual may receive unemployment benefits. Additionally, TWC is exercising its authority to waive Unemployment Insurance work search provisions, which requires individuals to register with the state jobs site and show they are actively applying for new jobs.




En Español


Haga clic aquí para obtener información en español.




TWC is Hiring





Guidance Based on Work Status


1099 employees can collect umemployment insurance. The Dramatists Guild prepared the chart below for individuals applying for unemployment insurance.




F-1 Students


F-1 students who are experiencing Severe Economic Hardship because of COVID19 may request employment authorization to work off-campus by filing an I-765 & I-20. For more information visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration's website.




Am I Eligible for Unemployment Assistance Benefits?


Texas AFL-CIO prepared this graphic to help individuals determine if they are eligible for asssistance:




How the CARES Act Impacts You






Payments & Bills

Apartment Renters


The Texas Apartment Association has prepared a resource page for renters impacted by COVID-19 that includes an FAQs section and contacts of local groups that may offer assistance.




Pedernales Electric Cooperative


For members experiencing unexpected circumstances right now, please call 888-554-4732. PEC has a number of payment options and agents ready to work with you.




Student Loans


March 27, 2020 — Federal student loans will be suspended and will not accrue interest until September 30. March 20, 2020 — President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. Department of Education will provide student loan relief in response to widespread economic hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Federal student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. Additionally, borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months, without interest, during the coronavirus crisis. Borrowers who are more than 31 days delinquent on their loans as of March 31, 2020, will experience an automatic suspension of payments. This also applies to any borrower who becomes more than 31 days delinquent during this time. The Department of Education specifically states, however, that borrowers whose loans are current need to request the forbearance by contacting their loan servicer online or by phone. All federally-held student loans qualify. Here are each of the federal student loan servicers’ numbers and websites:

  • CornerStone: 1-800-663-1662
  • FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA): 1-800-699-2908
  • Granite State — GSMR: 1-888-556-0022
  • Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.: 1-800-236-4300
  • HESC/Edfinancial: 1-855-337-6884
  • MOHELA: 1-888-866-4352
  • Navient: 1-800-722-1300
  • Nelnet: 1-888-486-4722
  • OSLA Servicing: 1-866-264-9762
  • ECSI: 1-866-313-3793
Borrowers with Perkins Loans (a federal lending program that ended in September 2017) should contact their school directly to request forbearance.




Hays County Rent Assistance


Find how to get rental assistance in Hays County Texas, by following the link here. Several churches, non-profits, and government organizations focus on providing seniors, the unemployed, and low income families with funds to pay their rent if they are faced with an eviction. Other agencies may offer moving cost assistance, or money for security deposits.




State & Federal Updates


March 26, 2020 — The Texas Public Utility Commission voted Thursday to ban utilities from cutting off power and water services to Texans who have lost jobs and income during the COVID-19 crisis for at least the next six months.





Mental Health

Managing Stress


The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has prepared a tip sheet for managing stress during the COVID-19 outbreak.




Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19


The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. For more information, visit the CDC's website. If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call 911
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)




Texas Health and Human Services COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line


If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, help is available through the Texas Health and Human Services COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line. You can speak with a mental health professional for help dealing with anxiety, depression, stress, grief or worry 24/7. Call the toll-free COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line at 833-986-1919.





Internet

Internet Options


The information on this page is only a guide. You will need to call each provider or visit their web site to verify that their service and offer is available at your specific address.




Charter/Spectrum


First 60 days free. Month to month service with no contract.
Call 1-844-488-8395
Or visit https://www.spectrum.com/internet
Additional informaton is available in the March 13, 2020 press release
Map of open Spectrum Hot Spots (note, going inside businesses for non-essential reasons is discouraged, however it MAY be possible these WiFi hotspots could reach your vehicle depending where you park.)




Grande


Low income households qualify for the first 60 days free, then $9.95/month. Month to month service with no contract.
Visit http://www.internetfirst.com/ to apply
All households qualify for 30 days free on standard plans. Month to month service with no contract.
Call 844-822-8374
Or visit https://mygrande.com/internet/




CenturyLink


No special COVID-19 offers known at this time.
Call 1-855-727-8119
Or visit https://www.getcenturylink.com/availability/tx/san-marcos




Additional Options


DON'T FORGET, you can call your smart phone provider (ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc) to have a 'mobile hotspot' service added to your data plan. This service allows many smart phones to act as a WiFi hotspot. TIP! Dial 611 from your smart phone to speak to your service provider about options. T-Mobile - Unlimited data to existing customers and will allow all phones to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge. Sprint - Unlimited data to existing customers and will allow all phones to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge. AT&T - Waive domestic wireless plan overage charges for data, voice or text for residential or small business wireless customers incurred because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic. See the ATT Education and Communities page for more details. Verizon - 15GB data added to existing plans. See the Verizon Coronavirus FAQ for more details.