Do you need help paying your bills? A new Portland coronavirus relief fund is on the way. The city is giving away $250 in cash cards to help residents who are struggling during the pandemic. 

"This was done to provide an opportunity for the public to access this assistance while also ensuring we serve as many impacted households as rapidly and equitably as possible,” Portland's Housing Bureau spokesperson Martha Calhoon told Oregon Live.

Applications open April 27 at 10 a.m. and cannot be submitted before this time.

The city will begin dispersing around 740 $250 Visa gift cards to qualifying low-income families who have been affected by COVID-19. 

Residents can expect to receive the money three to five business days after their application is accepted.

“If people want to expedite the process, they can make sure they have their documentation ready to go with their application on Monday or as soon as they can,” said Calhoon.

Cards are available on a first-come, first-served basis and intended to be used for rent, food, medical bills, and any other essential expenses.

Residents can apply either by calling 211 or visiting the Portland COVID-19 Emergency Household Stabilization Fund's website

City officials told Oregon Live that Portland residents must meet the following criteria:

  • Have been adversely impacted by the novel coronavirus by having: lost their job, had work hours cut, faced an increase of childcare costs after school closures, missed work to take care of their children, or had to take care of themselves or a relative who was sick from the virus. Residents must have proof of hardship.

  • Made 50% or less than Portland's median income level before an income or employment-related loss due to COVID-19

To prove you have been impacted by COVID-19, you will need letters or emails from your employer, child care provider, child's school, a doctor, or other sources.

The funds for these cards came from $200,000 of the $1 million allocated by the Portland Housing Bureau's budget to provide assistance for local residents during this time.

The rest of the million "is being given to 19 local nonprofits who serve communities of color, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, immigrants and refugees, domestic violence survivors and at-risk youth."

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