Brazos Valley workers struggle amid COVID-19 closures

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 10:25 PM CDT
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As schools and businesses are closing their doors temporarily, many workers are wondering how they'll pay their bills or rent. It's a struggle many Brazos Valley families are facing.

"Not only do I have my rent, but I have a car note. I have my children, I also have lights and I also have a gas bill," said Jamie Heslip, a Bryan ISD substitute teacher. "It's not easy for someone like me, being a single mom, to actually be able to pay everything without enough money."

When it was announced that school districts would be closing for at least a week due to COVID-19 concerns, Heslip's job was put on hold.

"I was actually devastated because if I don't work, I don't get paid. So what are we supposed to do when we have our bills come out? Are we supposed to just sit here and not get paid and be homeless, or what are we going to do in the long run," said Heslip.

To assist Heslip and others, the United Way of the Brazos Valley is encouraging people to use their 211 line.

"We'll help answer any questions and help callers kind of identify where they can go if they need assistance. For instance, if they're struggling with not being able to be employed at this time, then perhaps there's rent assistance or utility assistance or food pantries where we can help send them," said Peggi Goss with United Way.

"We're just going to pray about it and give it to God and hope everything turns out the way it's supposed to," said Heslip.

The United Way says they've added a new feature on their 211 line. We're told you can choose "Option 6" that connects you with medical professionals who can answer your questions about COVID-19.

For more information on the United Way of the Brazos Valley, please visit the related links section.