Dining rooms may be reopening across the state, but that doesn't change the fact that service industry folks are still struggling. As the nation debates how to handle unemployment assistance going forward, here's an updated list of resources.
Luckily, there are several new grant programs you can apply for, whether you're an immigrant or a small business owner. The City of Tucson has several helpful programs.
Local restaurants and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona are also here to help, with free meals, no questions asked. And now, you can even get free pet food ... Browse our list of resources and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if there's anything we've missed.
Monetary help and rent/utility relief
• The Workers and Families Grant Program is a new effort that provides emergency assistance to individuals and families affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The program prioritizes low-income people who have not yet received any relief money. These people are eligible for a one-time grant of $700 or $1,200 per family. This article has more info about the program.
• We are One / Somos Uno Resiliency Fund: This is a new program that's providing $1.25 million in financial relief to local immigrants who haven't been able to receive funding. Details on how to receive the aid will be released Sept. 1, but more than 2,000 people will likely get $600 cash cards. This article has more information.
• COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance: More than $4.5 million in Federal CARES Act funds have been allocated to help Tucsonans who are struggling with rent. Applicants can receive up to $2,500 each in assistance. Read more about how to apply at the City of Tucson's website.
• Tucson Electric Power: If you are having trouble paying your TEP bill, the utility company has a section on its website with a list of agencies that offer short-term assistance. The website also has a list of pricing plans that might help you save money, like budget billing and a lifeline program that'll save qualifying families $15 each month. Head to tep.com/payment-assistance
• Interfaith Community Services can help with clothing, food and utilities. The organization runs a food bank at 2820 W. Ina Road as well as at the New Spirit Lutheran Church at 8701 East Old Spanish Trail Road. Visit icstucson.org or call 520-297-6049.
For business owners
• Arizona Small Business Rent and Mortgage Relief Grant Program: This new program is distributing more than $10 million to assist small businesses that have had to close because of the pandemic. Note: This program applies to bars, and not restaurants. Read more about how to apply here.
• Downtown Tucson Partnership grants: DTP has created two separate grant programs for businesses in the downtown area. Apply for the Downtown Rebound Grant Program and/or the Downtown Outdoor Cafe Grant Program here.
• La Cocina: Downtown's La Cocina restaurant is serving free meals to restaurant workers displaced by the crisis. Stop by Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 2-3 p.m. at 201 N. Court Ave. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. A recent meal (Friday, August 21) was chicken leg quarters with mashed potatoes and broccoli. Call 520-444-5155 for more information.
• The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona provides food assistance to the hungry. The organization now runs an emergency food distribution event at Kino Stadium every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-10 a.m. The website also has a food map of all the different food sites and times across Tucson. Its Facebook page also has more information.
• Caridad Community Kitchen, which is powered by the Community Food Bank, also offers grab-and-go meals from its headquarters at 845 N. Main Ave. They also often have pet food, masks, and other helpful items. This is open to anyone, no ID needed, Monday through Friday from 3-4 p.m.
• Caring Ministries distributes food boxes at multiple locations throughout Tucson. Find the list of locations, dates and times here.
• The Arizona Food Bank Network has a statewide database with information about where to find emergency food boxes, pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and other food options. Be sure to check with each location in advance as there may be changes to their hours or operations. Go here to search the options.
• Iskashitaa Refugee Network provides free produce for asylum seekers, refugees and underserved members of the community. They also just finished harvesting prickly pear fruits from all over Tucson. Follow their Facebook page to learn more about their organization. Or call 520-440-0100.
Free pet food
• Pathways for Paws is holding free dog food drives on select Saturdays through the end of the year. Check the organization's Facebook page for the next date.