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How CARES Act funding is preventing families from getting evicted

Posted at 4:48 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 21:28:06-04

PHOENIX — A Valley organization has been able to help 500 families pay their rent and utility bills. It is all thanks to money designated to them by the CARES Act which was signed in to law by Congress earlier this year.

Chicanos Por La Causa officials tell ABC15 they still have a waiting list of people who need assistance making rent and mortgage payments. Now, they are hoping to get more funding in the future.

One of the women they have been able to help is Sarah Alvarado. She just got her PhD and never thought she would need that kind of help.

"For the first time in my life, I am applying for unemployment," said Alvarado.

Like so many other Americans, COVID-19 impacted Alvarado’s life by practically wiping away her source of income. "I essentially went from working 30 hours a week to seven hours a week. That's putting me in a real bind," said Alvarado.

Now, more than finding a job, Alvarado worries about keeping a roof over her head. In the past couple months, she was able to use stimulus funding she received to help pay the bills, but this month, she said, she had no idea how she was going to make it. That was until Chicanos Por La Causa stepped in to help.

"A lot of our clients are behind one, two, some even three months on rent or mortgage payments so they are very thankful for the assistance," said Victor Contreras, Director of Workforce Solutions for Chicanos Por La Causa.

He said it was a month to month battle for so many families they were helping.

Chicanos Por La Causa is one of many agencies designated by the city of Phoenix to help distribute the CARES Act funding. That money is allocated towards rent, mortgage, and utility bill assistance.

The city received a total of $290 million in funding. You can see the breakdown of how the money is being used here. The city has allocated $30 million in funding to help struggling families.

"We're able to do a payment of $3,300 to the rent or mortgage. We're also able to help them with $300 towards their gas bill, $300 water bill, and $600 toward their power bill," said Contreras.

For Alvarado, this money brings her peace of mind and the ability to focus on finding a job.

To get a full list of other agencies the city of Phoenix has partnered with to distribute the CARES act funding, visit the Wildfire website.

If you live in Maricopa county, you can apply for help here.