Funded by Harris County’s COVID-19 Emergency Direct Assistance Program

Harris County provided $60 million in funding to help people who are suffering financial hardship brought on by COVID-19. Households that were selected and approved received a one-time payment of $1,200 for emergency expenses.

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Program Overview

Harris County partnered with Catholic Charities as the administrator for $60 million in emergency financial assistance to help Harris County residents who are experiencing financial distress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • For households located within Harris County that meet eligibility requirements
  • One-time $1,200 payment
  • Funds may be used for emergency expenses such as healthcare, rent, utilities, food, internet connectivity, transportation and childcare
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What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Your household must be located in Harris County.
  • If you already received other COVID-19 related assistance from Harris County, you are not eligible.
  • Your household must have at least one member enrolled in a public assistance program or have total household income less than 60% of the HUD Area Median Family Income at the time of application.
  • Households must demonstrate impact on income due to COVID.
  • Limited funds may be available for individuals who do not meet federal funding requirements.

How is the money being distributed?

The Harris County funds were distributed in two rounds. The public application period is now closed.

Round 1

  • Applicants were being randomly selected from the pool of applicants who applied for help, but did not receive any, from the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund direct assistance program, conducted earlier this summer.
  • Catholic Charities received the names, then reviewed all applications for eligibility, worked with those applicants to get the proper documentation within a short time frame, then process payment for those that are approved.

Round 2

  • Following the first round, which began November 2, any eligible household in Harris County was invited to apply online for a period of five days (through November 6). After the five days, new applications were combined with a pool of previous applicants who applied but were not selected.
  • Applicants were randomly selected from the combined pool of applications. Unfortunately, not everyone who applied received funds.
  • Catholic Charities received the names, then reviewed all applications for eligibility, worked with those applicants to get the proper documentation within a short time frame, then processed payment for those that are approved.

What is Catholic Charities' role?

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Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is responsible for reviewing applications, verifying eligibility, and processing payment.

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Catholic Charities has proven expertise in emergency response during times of disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic and our ongoing mission. We routinely help more than 100,000 people in need each year through our network of social service programs.

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Catholic Charities’ staff of social service providers is highly experienced in helping people in crisis. We will evaluate the eligibility of each applicant for the Harris County funds and make timely decisions to get emergency funds to qualified families as quickly as possible.

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Catholic Charities is a nonprofit, United Way agency that serves people of all faiths and backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the payment method I chose?

  • Unfortunately, once a payment method has been selected, we are unable to make changes.
  • For electronic transfer of funds: Please allow 3-5 business days (not including holidays or weekends) for funds to be deposited. Your bank may have different procedures that involve placing a hold on this type of transfer.
  • For a mailed check: Please note that this will be sent out certified mail. Please allow for 10 business days for it to arrive.
  • To pick up a check: You must make an appointment in the scheduling system using the link that was sent to you asking for your preferred method for receiving funds. If you made an appointment and did not keep it, your check will be mailed by certified mail.
  • For the safety and security of your personal financial information, eligibility staff are not allowed access to this information. Please allow for 3-5 business days for the EFT to occur.
  • If you believe there has been an error in processing or this time frame is exceeded, please contact us at 832-990-1318. A Client Response team member will further research your concern and contact you to resolve this issue.

Please visit the Resources page for more information on options that may be available to you.

Applicants have been randomly selected now through December 30. You may call our hotline at 832-990-1318 Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., to answer your questions, help if you are unable to use the website, and hear your concerns.