Alianza begins distribution of COVID relief funds for housing, funeral expenses

Alianza Coachella Valley this week began the process of distributing federal COVID relief money granted through the city of Coachella to city residents struggling with housing costs or funeral expenses because of the pandemic.

Households receiving support include some where a person tested positive, forcing the whole family to stop working while under quarantine. In other cases, parents had to stay home from work with their children while in-school learning was on hold. Others are dealing with the loss of a loved one and provider who died because of the virus.

“It’s heartbreaking to see families who have been hit by the crisis in such a big way,” said Patricia Carrillo, project manager with Alianza. “Many are facing a transition where the husband or another key wage-earner had to stop working or passed away. Now someone else is in charge of the household.”

In most cases, this cash assistance is covering only a portion of a household’s outstanding bills, although other relief programs are available to area residents. The money must go towards rent, mortgage payments or funeral costs.

Alianza expects around 170 Coachella households to receive assistance between now and the end of November. Recipients have already been identified through referrals and a preliminary review of applications, and new applications are currently not being accepted.

The city of Coachella announced in September that it was awarding $430,000 through the federal CARES Act to assist residents and businesses negatively affected by the pandemic. Alianza’s $200,000 grant was the largest coming from the city.

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