United Way of Tarrant County has established the “Rebuild Tarrant County Fund” to provide long-term assistance to the community as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The new fund replaces the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and represents the organization’s shift from emergency response to ongoing recovery efforts. Donations can be made online at www.rebuildtarrant.org.
A statewide survey, conducted by United Ways of Texas in cooperation with local United Ways including United Way of Tarrant County, found that Texans are facing many challenges due to the pandemic including meeting basic needs. The survey also found some Texas communities and populations are being hit disproportionately hard, and a majority of Texans are very worried about the health and economic wellbeing of their communities.
In the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, key findings include:
• The top concerns among individuals is contracting COVID-19 (67%), followed by the economic health of the community (59%), mental health issues (40%), remote learning during the upcoming school year (38%) and attending church or other social gatherings (37%).
• When asked about resources needed for their households, the most common answer was “help with bills” (22%) followed by new job opportunities (20%), assistance with paying rent/mortgage (18%), technology to assist with remote working and learning (15%) and health insurance coverage (13%).
• To make ends meet during the pandemic, 22% said they increased the balance on credit cards, 21% said they applied for unemployment, 17% used a food pantry/food bank, 15% borrowed from family or friends and 12% applied for food stamps/SNAP.
• Seventy-five percent of Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex households received a stimulus check. Among those, 34% said the check would cover family/household expenses for two weeks or less and the majority used the checks for rent or mortgage (37%), utilities (35%) and food (32%).
• Among seniors, the top concern was contracting COVID-19 (74%), the economic health of the community (71%), attending church or other social gatherings (44%), mental health issues (34%) and medical issues other than COVID-19 (26%).
United Ways of Texas in partnership with local United Ways across the state released the statewide survey to help shed light on the impact of COVID-19 on Texas communities, and to better understand the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on diverse Texas communities. In addition, the survey aims to guide and inform United Ways across the state on how to best support Texas families through long-term recovery and beyond.
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The survey was administered from June 1-28 and made available in both English and Spanish. The results make it clear that some Texas populations and communities, such as women, low income households, families of color, and individuals working in hospitality, arts/entertainment/food, construction, and trade/retail sales are bearing the brunt of the impact. Of note, 89% of single mothers reported a moderate to high effect of the virus.
The COVID-19 survey has provided a snapshot of critical needs in the state of Texas due to the coronavirus, and United Way of Tarrant County hopes that the results will help guide conversations, community action, advocacy and policy ensuring resources are allocated to support those in need.
Since mid-March, United Way of Tarrant County invested $1.4 million from the Emergency Relief Fund, assisting more than 550,000 people impacted by COVID 19. In addition, through federal and state grants administered by the Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County, more than 203,268 meals have been delivered to 2,480 senior citizens. Total for this effort is $1,113,636.
About United Way of Tarrant County
United Way of Tarrant County has worked to improve the lives of those in our communities since 1922. As a nonprofit leader, we bring together individuals, groups, donors and service providers to help solve some of the toughest social issues affecting Tarrant County. Each year, United Way of Tarrant County helps more than 300,000 people through its resources. United Way of Tarrant County has no fees on donor designations, with 100 percent of the donations going to the selected agency or cause.