Emergency Funding for Austinites Affected by COVID-19

City of Austin Provides Emergency Relief Funding to Prevent Homelessness in Austin

A critical piece to ending homelessness in our community is preventing it from ever occurring.

With that aim in mind, we are proud to announce the City of Austin has awarded $1 million in RISE funding (Relief in a State of Emergency) to the Best Single Source Plus (BSS Plus) collaborative.

These resources will be used by the collaborative’s 12 partner agencies to provide immediate financial assistance to families directly impacted by COVID-19. RISE funds can be used to cover rental payments and utility bills, as well as case management and behavioral health services.

“In the coming weeks, RISE funds will help prevent homelessness for hundreds of our Austin neighbors as they face unexpected illness or job loss due to COVID-19. We are grateful our local leaders trust the Best Single Source Plus collaborative to provide the support Austinites need during this crisis,” said Jo Kathryn Quinn, Caritas of Austin President and CEO.

Providing relief for communities in need

Since 2005, BSS Plus has been a local leader in preventing homelessness and supporting housing stability for Central Texas residents. The collaborative has a unique model that eliminates the need for people to engage with multiple agencies to get the support they need. Instead, the BSS Plus partner agency that best suits the individual or family can provide all financial assistance and comprehensive services necessary to rebuild well-being.

“In the three years I’ve worked with the BSS+ Collaborative, I’ve never seen such desperate need for financial resources among Austin and Travis County citizens,” said Linda Walker Horbal, BSS+ Program Coordinator at Caritas. “There is a substantial segment of our population that is not eligible for other crisis funding and the RISE grant will help to prevent many from becoming homeless.”

At Caritas of Austin, we have been so encouraged to watch individuals, businesses, organizations, and local leaders continue coming together to strengthen our community as it endures such a difficult time. When we support one another, we strengthen the fabric of our beloved community.

Who qualifies for additional aid?

To qualify for RISE funds through Best Single Source Plus, Austin/Travis County residents must be considered low income (at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Level), have been directly impacted by COVID-19, and be ineligible for unemployment payments or unemployment payments are insufficient. Additionally, priority will be given to marginalized populations including the elderly, people of color, those who identify as LGBTQI, and immigrants. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please contact 2-1-1 for more information.

Best Single Source Plus partner agencies include: AIDS Services of Austin, Any Baby Can, Caritas of Austin (lead and fiscal agent), Catholic Charities Central Texas, Family Eldercare, Foundation for the Homeless, Front Steps, Goodwill Central Texas, Lifeworks, Meals on Wheels Central Texas, SAFE Alliance, and The Salvation Army.

Learn more about how you may qualify to receive funding here.