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VERIFY: Mass texts about Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund are legitimate

Text sent to 95,000 county residents offers to help with rent, food, medical care and childcare.

HOUSTON — There is a text message going around, encouraging Harris County residents to apply for COVID-19 financial relief. 

A couple of people emailed the Verify team, asking whether it was legit.

The text message that came across Sarita’s phone reads, “This is Daniela with the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund. Need help with rent, food, medical care, childcare and other basic needs because of COVID-19?”

The text includes a link to learn more.

Sarita asked the Verify team, “Is this legitimate?”

Our sources for this are the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund and Rachel Young, marketing and brand manager for the Greater Houston Community Foundation, the organization supporting the initiative.

RELATED: County Judge Hidalgo on how to apply for Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund

The COVID-19 Relief Fund has $30 million to help Harris County residents who may not be eligible for other COVID-related funding or simply cannot wait for assistance.

According to the grant’s website, all low-income residents in the county can apply online or through the call center.

But what about the text? 

Young confirmed to the Verify team, that the foundation has set up “a texting campaign for the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund in order to spread awareness throughout the community.”

She says the message was sent to an estimated 95,000 people last week and, as the text says, the fund is providing $1,200 in emergency financial assistance to eligible residents in need.  

The application process starts Tuesday.

So, we can Verify that the text sent to Sarita’s phone regarding the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund is legitimate. 

Young says the messages are being sent to people who are likely living in the county’s most vulnerable neighborhoods as defined by the CDC.    

For more information about the relief fund and to see if you qualify for help, go to harriscountyrelief.org.


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