All of us are experiencing a lot of firsts; first shelter-in-place, first time to file for unemployment, first time to struggle with bills, first time to worry about our next meal. Nobody in our lifetime has experienced a global pandemic and since our only frame of reference occurred over a century ago, it’s difficult to know what to do.
While we don’t yet know the full scale of the economic fallout, with over 30 million out of work, we know that many of us are experiencing the fallout right now. And with more than half of U.S. jobs at moderate to high risk, many more will soon find themselves faced with challenging circumstances. It can be difficult to ask for help, but there is no shame in seeking help - we’re all in this together. Below is a list of resources to help you get through these difficult times.
2-1-1 Texas is a program run by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to connect Texas citizens with the services they need. This free service can be reached 24/7 to connect you with state and local resources through their website or by dialing 2-1-1 on your phone.
The city of Irving also has a hotline dedicated to answering COVID-19 questions specific to the City of Irving. The hotline can be reached Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 972-721-6655.
If You're In The Hospitality Industry
Staff Meal Dallas is a collaborative effort between FestEvents Foundation Chef Nick Walker and Steve DeShazo. Staff Meal Dallas was formed during the COVID-19 crisis to provide meals for hospitality industry workers and their families in need in the DFW area. Meals are prepared during the week and distributed on Saturdays from the Irving Convention Center and must be pre-reserved online.
The Above and Beyond Foundation The Helping Hospitality urgent aid grant program awards $500 virtual VISA cards to those who have gone above and beyond, but are currently unemployed due to the pandemic. Grants are awarded daily - visit the link above if you are a hospitality industry employer and would like to provide grants for your former workers.
CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees) Supports food and beverage employees with children when a family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19 who resides in the same home is required to quarantine.
If You Need Help With Food
The North Texas Food Bank has food pantries located across the Metroplex including Mobile Food Pantries, which require you to have a vehicle for pick up, Food Programs for Seniors called the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and offers assistance with applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is formerly known as “food stamps.”
Irving Cares provides bundled services for Irving residents in need including food pantry assistance, employment services, and limited assistance with rent, utilities and prescriptions.
Crisis Ministries is a partner agency of the North Texas Food Bank. This 100% volunteer-driven agency provides meals and groceries, hygiene products, vision assistance, emergency shelter, limited financial assistance, and job assistance.
The Irving Salvation Army provides a range of social services including a food pantry and limited financial assistance.
DART Grocery Pickup and Delivery for Paratransit Customers will pick up groceries from the store and deliver directly to the customer. There is no charge for this service, but customers must have placed their orders directly with the grocery store and provide DART with the pickup ID information.
Meals for Irving Students
Irving, Carrollton-Farmers Branch, and Coppell ISD are distributing meals to Irving students. The Irving ISD "Grab and Go" Meal Distribution distributes five breakfasts and five lunches once a week. The Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD "Grab and Go" Meal Distribution distributes five breakfasts and five lunches once a week with dinners available on a separate schedule. And the Coppell ISD Free Sack Lunches distributes lunches Monday through Thursday, with two meals distributed on Thursdays. Breakfasts are included on Monday through Wednesday distributions.
If You Need Help With Housing
Pro Bono Legal Help if You Get an Eviction Notice if you recently received an eviction notice, the Dallas Eviction 2020 project has volunteer lawyers that will respond to inquiries within 24 hours.
The When Your Landlord has Locked You Out or Cut Off Your Utilities site is an endeavor of the Justices of the Peace and Constables Association through Texas State University that provides resources, information packets, forms, and guidance if your landlord has locked you out or cut off utilities.
The Housing Crisis Center's mission is to prevent homelessness and to stabilize those at risk. They offer a variety of services including permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing, support services, and emergency rental and utility assistance among other services.
The Dallas County Tenant Hotline has been set up to prevent renters from being displaced and to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. If you have been evicted or notified of a pending eviction due to the inability to pay rent, contact the Dallas County Tenant Hotline.
The Texas Apartment Association provides resources for renters dealing with COVID-19 related issues.
If You Need Help With Legal Issues
Legal Aid of Northwest Texas provides free civil legal assistance to low-income Texans who wouldn’t otherwise be able to secure such legal representation.
The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program provides advice and full representation in a variety of cases including housing and landlord-tenant issues.
If You Need Mental Health Support
It is normal to feel stress, anxiety, and worry during times of public crisis. The following crisis helplines are available for mental health support.
North Texas Support Line
The North Texas Behavioral Health Authority has a dedicated COVID-19 mental health support line to provide support to those experiencing stress and anxiety. The NTBHA COVID-19 Mental Health Support line is available 24/7 and can be reached at 833-251-7544.
Texas Statewide Support Line
Texas Health and Human Services also provide COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. Counseling services are confidential and free of charge to people who call the hotline. The toll-free support line is available 24/7 and can be reached at 833-986-1919.
For more information, Visit Irving regularly updates their website with Coronavirus Resources including general information and support services. The City of Irving also regularly updates the COVID-19 support services and resources on their website.