City of La Joya CARES Resources


Hidalgo County COVID Hotline


UT-Health Testing Sites:

1-833-UTRGVMD (1-833-887-4863)

No on-demand Testing

Call ahead to make an appointment

COVID Mental Support Hotline

If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, help is available.  Speak with a mental health professional for help dealing with anxiety depression, stress, grief or worry. Call 24/7:  833-986-1919

For more information with:

Symptoms of COVID-19
Self-check symptoms
People at increased risk
Should you get tested?

CALL BEFORE YOU GO to a doctor’s office, urgent care or emergency room.  Call ahead and tell the provider or office about your possible exposure and symptoms.

*Symptoms include:  fever, cough and shortness of breath

State Resources for Businesses and Employers

Office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Update on “Retail-To-Go” Operations

– Governor’s Small Business Webinar Series (Download PDF)
– Re-opened Retail Guidelines (Download PDF)

Texas Comptroller’s Office

– Sales Tax Help is Available (Link)
– Franchise tax reports due July 15 (Link)

Texas Workforce Commision

The Texas Workforce Commission has additional resources for employers regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on their website: Resources available range from answering legal questions regarding work from home policies, to resources for loans, Tax questions, Precautions for employers, and more.

Private Grants and Loans

The information provided in this section is not an endorsement of or promotion of any program and is provided here for informational purposes only. Please contact the organization or entity directly for more information regarding eligibility requirements.

Lender and Corporate Small Business Assistance Programs

Many banks have offered deferment and forbearance to business loan customers having trouble making payments. Search for your bank on the American Bankers Association’s ongoing A-Z list of coronavirus response programs.

CDFI Assistance

Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI) may also be able to provide assistance.

(Download PDF)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Save Small Business Fund

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in partnership with Vistaprint, is launching the Save Small Business Fund, which provides up to $5,000 for businesses that employ between three and 30 people, are located in a “vulnerable area,” and have been affected by the coronavirus. The application is available starting April 20.

Texas AssistHER Emergency Relief Grant

The Texas Woman’s University is administering the Texas AssistHER Emergency Relief Grant program, offering women-owned businesses in Texas grants of $10,000. Grants can be used for technology upgrades or other items needed to adapt a business’s business model.

TūX Restaurant Relief Fund

The Texas Restaurant Association has created the TX Restaurant Relief Fund to keep independent restaurants open. To support independent restaurants, the TX Restaurant Relief Fund will distribute grants of up to $5,000 PER UNIT to immediately support their financial needs. These funds are earmarked specifically for use to keep their doors open and their workers employed.

Hello Alice Grant

In partnership with Verizon, the digital fundraising and advocacy platform Hello Alice is offering emergency grants of up to $10,000 for companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Google Advertising Grant

Google is offering $340 million in advertising grants for small- and medium-size businesses, a credit that will be added automatically to Google Ads accounts.

Verizon Small Business Grants

Verizon has allocated $5 million to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to distribute via grants to small businesses. The first round of grant applications is closed but will reopen in mid-April, and you can register to be notified on their website.

Resources for Individuals and Families

Texas Workforce Commission – Unemployment Benefits

At present, the U.S. government and Texas legislature have not changed any laws or rules concerning unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

For more information visit: (Link)

Workforce Solutions – Employment Opportunities

Even during these uncertain times, there are many industries that have job opportunities for interested job seekers.

For more information visit: (Link)

The Hidalgo County Mortgage and Rent Relief Program

The Hidalgo County Mortgage and Rent Relief Program is a short-term rental and mortgage assistance program designated to help rural Hidalgo County residents, and those living in Granjeno and Sullivan City, who have been laid off or had their incomes impacted by the spread of COVID-19. Funding for this assistance program comes directly from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, so only households making 200% or below of the Federal Poverty Level qualify for help.

Note: People living in incorporated areas of Hidalgo County should contact their local municipality to determine if that city is providing rent and mortgage relief under federal CARES Act funding.
Apply by phone by calling 956-205-7058

Hidalgo County Community Service Agency – General Assistance

The Hidalgo County Community Service Agency’s (CSA) mission is to improve the quality of life and promote self-sufficiency of the low-income and vulnerable households of Hidalgo County by providing effective, efficient, and comprehensive services through partnerships and direct funding.

– COVID-19 Disaster Assistance –

– Recent Unemployment Benefit letter
– Letter from a healthcare provider
– Letter from Employer
– Letter from landlord or mortgage company

For more information visit: (Link)

– Utility Assistance –

Many individual communities and some companies may be waiving certain fees to assist residents with utility payments during this time. Contact your local city and/or utility district for more information regarding possible assistance for water and wastewater services. Contact your electricity provider directly for information on possible assistance for electricity payments.

Health and Safety Resources

Stay Healthy, Safe and Fit!

It is important to follow health and safety guidelines regarding preventive measures as recommended by authorities that can be taken to protect yourselves and keep your bodies healthy, safe, and fit.

Take Everyday Preventive Measures

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed.

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and anyone in public.
  • Wear a face cover when out in public.
  • Stay home or seek medical advice when you are sick.
  • Only leave your home for essential business, activities, or functions.

Eat Healthy

Eating healthy nutritious foods can help boost your immune system. Support your health through good nutrition.

  • Take care when shopping for groceries – follow physical distancing measures and face-covering recommendations.
  • Wash and clean all groceries before using, and always wash your hands before preparing meals.
  • Be creative in the kitchen! Explore new recipes and get the entire family involved. Get kid-friendly tips and recipes

Stay Active

Exercise is also key to staying healthy and keeping your body active and agile. Exercise is also considered an “essential activity.” According to the World Health Organization, when so many of us are very restricted in our movements, it is important for people of all ages to be as active as possible. Even a short break from sitting, will help ease muscle strain, relieve mental tension and improve blood circulation. 

  • Go outdoors – take a walk, ride a bike, or go for a jog, while practicing physical distancing.
  • Go to a public open space or park to walk, run or exercise.
  • Start with low-intensity activities, such as yoga or stretching.
  • Choose the right activity for your level so you don’t injure yourself.
  • Use technology to access online exercise or have a video conference exercise session with a group of friends.
  • Most importantly, enjoy!

Mental Health Resources

La Joya CARES has compiled a list of federal, state, and local resources for mental health and wellbeing during this COVID-19 crisis. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay well.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Stress and Coping
  • Texas Department of Health and Human Services – Behavioral Health Resources
  • COVID-19 Mental Health Support Live – 1-833-986-1919
  • Tropical Texas Behavioral Health Crisis Line – 1-877-289-7199
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Rio Grande Valley
  • Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley is offering over the phone counseling to all those suffering from anxiety and depression due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you know of someone who will benefit from this service, please have them call 956-307-8090.
  • UTRGV Counseling Center (for students)

Resources for Victims of Domestic Abuse

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Family Crisis Center of the Rio Grande Valley Hotline – 1-866-423-9304

Mental Health Resources

Texas Health and Human Services

Because of school closures from COVID-19, Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits to families with children that have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals.

To learn about eligibility and how to apply, visit the Pandemic-EBT webpage.

Workforce Solutions – Employment Opportunities

In the interest of the health and safety of our community, our Emergency Food Pantry at the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley has now moved to a mobile distribution model. These distributions will take place on Tuesdays from 9 am – 11:00 am OR until we reach capacity. You MUST bring a valid I.D. and proof of address.

There will be a distribution on Thursdays for Senior Citizens aged 60 + only from 9:00am – 11:00am OR until we reach capacity. Family members may pick up for the Senior Citizen with the Senior’s ID and proof of address.

The emergency pantry at the Food Bank RGV is for use when there is no food in the home. All of our partner agencies remain open, please call us at 956-682-8101 for a referral to a pantry close to you. You may only use the pantry once within a 30 day period.

For more information visit: (Link)

Amigos Del Valle, Inc.

Amigos del Valle, Inc. offers Meals on Wheels to senior citizens and provides curb-side meals at various Community Centers throughout Willacy, Hidalgo and Cameron Counites.

For more information, contact them at (956) 213-9400 or
visit their Facebook Page.

College / University Food Assistance
(for Currently Enrolled 2020 Spring and Summer Students)

The South Texas College Student Food Pantry supports students who are experiencing food insecurity by providing them with adequate nutritious food. The pantry also keeps the students engaged by connecting them with additional college services to support their retention and graduation. The South Texas College Food Pantries at the Mid Valley, Pecan and Starr County campuses are now accepting new applications.
Only currently enrolled (Spring 2020 and Summer 2020) South Texas College students are eligible.

Hidalgo County Community Service Agency

General Assistance

The Hidalgo County Community Service Agency’s (CSA) mission is to improve the quality of life and promote self-sufficiency of the low-income and vulnerable households of Hidalgo County by providing effective, efficient, and comprehensive services through partnerships and direct funding. 

Hidalgo County residents may also be considered for a specialized program designed to help break the cycle of poverty. Qualifying residents are provided with the resources they need to address the root causes of poverty. Assistance may be in the form of direct assistance to augment their own efforts or in the form of referrals to other agencies who can address their particular needs. We can help with transportation assistance, testing fees, uniforms, books and even tuition and fees. The results are life changing. COVID-19 Disaster Assistance

Applicants requesting COVID-19 assistance MUST provide proof of COVID- related financial effect

Recent Unemployment Benefit letter

Letter from a healthcare provider

Letter from Employer

Letter from landlord or mortgage company

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