Osceola County continues to accept and process applications for various COVID-19 assistance programs, officials said Friday.
Osceola’s Business Assistance Program web portal opened for a new round of applications this week. The application form is available at www.weveopenedsafely.com/grant-program.
A total of 707 applications have been received to date. More than a half million dollars has been approved for 132 applicants, with more than $400,000 already disbursed. Staff is reviewing submissions and reaching out to applicants to obtain missing documents. Outstanding funds will be distributed soon.
The county has assisted more than 500 families since the pandemic began and have an additional 3,111 applications in the process for rental and mortgage foreclosure prevention assistance.
Human Services continues to process applications for housing assistance. If someone hasn’t been called who applied in August, they will be contacted via e-mail by September 18 to be assisted. The County is planning its next application period, which will open on October 5th. Information will be available at Housing.Osceola.Org.
“If you applied and were asked to turn in required documents, please do so as quickly as possible,” said Osceola Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer. “We don’t want people to be shut out when they could receive funding. For many all that is needed is a copy of a driver’s license, your lease or mortgage or COVID impact verification, which is often as simple as an email from your employer. So please act and help us help you.”
The Florida Department of Health-Osceola and its partners continue testing in the community. A site at Disney's main gate property has unmet capacity. Appointments can be made at www.doineedacovid19test.com. The state-run, free, drive-thru testing location off of West U.S. 192, near Disney World is open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More information on testing facilities can be found at www.osceola.org/covid19testing.
Osceola County’s mandatory face covering order remains in place. The total number of cases in Osceola County is now 11,406. Important to note is that the County’s average percentage of positive cases over the past two weeks is 6.8%. Officials said entering a critical holiday weekend it is important that residents continue to abide by the order, practice social distancing and frequently wash hands.
“Labor Day Weekend has traditionally served as the end of summer, and many will want to celebrate. Please remember to be safe and considerate of others,” said Janer. “Please do your part so we don’t lose ground in our battle with COVID-19.”
· St. Cloud: The City extended the application deadline for its Community Support Grant Program to Sept. 30. This program provides grants to local non-profit agencies that provide human services to local residents. Although the 2020-21 budget is not yet finalized, the grant program typically awards a total of $150,000 through the program each year. To apply, visit www.stcloud.org/communitygrants. The City is accepting applications for grants through the city’s Economic Stimulus Plan, which is intended to help local businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19. Nearly $200,000 is still available. Contact the Economic Development Office at 407-957-7235 or visit www.stcloud.org/smallbusinessrecovery to apply.
· In Kissimmee: Kissimmee has committed $1.3 million to date to assist families with more than $500,000 available from the Coronavirus Relief Funds from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to be used for the Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program. The City is currently accepting applications for this program from qualifying households. These funds can assist with:
*Rent or mortgage to include past due amounts back to March 1, 2020, and up to three months of future rent or mortgage payments to not extend beyond December 30, 2020.
*Security deposit and the first-month rent for households looking to relocate or downsize due to income reduction.
*School District: Launched a webpage to check to see the number of COVID-19 incidents in our schools each week, www.osceolaschools.net/COVID-19Incidents
*Eviction moratoriums: Earlier this week, Governor DeSantis extended the moratorium on eviction and foreclosure actions until October 1. In addition, the CDC has issued a moratorium on evictions that will complement the state’s order, and protect our residents from being evicted until the end of the year. The federal eviction protection order is not automatic. Residents must submit a special document provided by the CDC. We have shared a link to that document on our website at www.osceola.org/covid19.