Where To Get Help

Pinellas County Emergency Rental Assistance Program

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Struggling to pay rent or utilities?

Financial help is available through the Pinellas County Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

UPDATE: As of Sept. 7, 2021, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has expanded eligibility to help more renters. Pinellas County residents who experienced a significant reduction in income or increase in costs during the pandemic may now qualify for assistance, even if their financial hardship was not a result of the pandemic. Previously, applicants were required to indicate proof of a direct or indirect financial impact from the pandemic.  
 
Staff have also made updates to the program to streamline application processing.

You may qualify if:

  • You’ve experienced reduced income or increased costs during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • You’re behind on rent payments or at risk of missing a rent payment  
  • You have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). See the table below for household income limits.

Pinellas County 2021 Income Limits (effective April 1, 2021):

Number of
Household
Members
80% of
Area Median
Income (AMI)*
1$41,350
2$47,250
3$53,150
4$59,050
5$63,800
6$68,500
7$73,250
8$77,950

*Area Median Income (AMI) for households in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area: $72,700

Learn More:

Emergency Rental Assistance Helpline:
855-379-3515
Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
erap.pinellascounty.fl@tetratech.com 


Eviction/Foreclosure Assistance 

Federal eviction moratorium has ended

Tenants are responsible for any missed rent payments during the previous ban. You may be eligible for help with your past and/or future rent payments through the Pinellas County Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Eviction legal assistance

Help is available through Pinellas CARES to resolve eviction through legal mediation. If you are overdue on your rent, don’t wait until you get an eviction notice to seek help.

Facing eviction? Know your rights – Read Gulfcoast Legal Services’ Tenant Rights guide.


Coming Soon: Florida Homeowner Assistance

Homeowners who experienced financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic may soon be eligible for help through the State of Florida’s Homeowner Assistance Fund.

This $676 million fund will be managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).

More information will be published by the DEO soon at this website.


COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

How to Apply

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number

Applications begin on April 12, 2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time

Call this dedicated toll-free phone number to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA’s representatives. Multilingual services will be available.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the application process on our Funeral Assistance FAQ page.

Learn more and find out if you’re eligible at FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance website.


Unemployment & Income Assistance

If you are currently out of work, the State of Florida’s Reemployment Assistance Program may be able to provide financial assistance. For information about eligibility and the application process, read the State Department of Economic Opportunity’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Paper Applications

If you experience technical difficulties with the Reemployment Assistance online application, you can also print and fill out a paper application: ( English | Spanish | Creole ) Please note that paper applications could take longer for the state to process than completing an online application.

Resources for Employers:


Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance

COVID-19 relief for individuals, community & businesses

After helping more than 11,000 individuals, families and businesses through direct financial assistance, Pinellas CARES individual and business assistance programs stopped accepting new applications on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. 

View CARES and other COVID-19 expenditures in our COVID-19 Spending Report


Food Pantry/Distribution Sites

Food distribution sites across Pinellas County are offering prepared meals, groceries, and other resources for adults and children in need. Visit Feeding Tampa Bay’s Online Map of Local Food Pantries to find a site near you.


School Meals

To find the closest schools that are offering meals to students during school closures, visit Summer BreakSpot.


Home Meal Delivery for Kids & Seniors

  • Meals on Wheels for Kids
  • Neighborly Care Network/Meals on Wheels for Seniors: Drive-thru and delivery options available for older adults 60+ with safe social distancing – Call 727-573-9444

Apply for Food & Nutrition Assistance

For food assistance, apply online for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or call 866-762-2237 or 850-300-4323 (TTY 1-800-955-8771).


Pet Care Assistance

Pet Food Pantries

The following organizations offer pet food pantries for pet owners who are facing financial hardship: 

  • Pinellas County Animal Services
    Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 
    12450 Ulmerton Rd.
    Largo, FL 33774
    Phone: (727) 582-2600
    Details: An employee will meet you at the entrance or you may call from the parking lot and an employee will come out to assist. Each citizen is limited to two bags or six cans of food per visit.
  • Humane Society of Pinellas  
    Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. 
    3040 State Road 590 
    Clearwater, FL 33759 
    Phone: (727) 797-7722 
    Details: To pick up food, knock on the door at the Humane Society’s Volunteer Village, located at their facility, and a representative will assist you and bring the food out to you.  
  • SPCA of Tampa Bay 
    Tuesdays from 1-5 p.m. 
    9099 130th Avenue North 
    Largo, FL 33773 
    Phone: (727) 586-3591, ext. 121 
    Details: Call ahead to ensure the food pantry has adequate food stocks to meet your needs. If you are planning to pick up canned food, bring plastic grocery bags to transport the food home. When you arrive for your appointment, be sure to have a valid photo ID. 

Internet Access

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband internet service for eligible households. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

As of May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to enroll through an approved provider or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org.

Frequently asked questions and program updates can be found on the FCC’s website.

Who is eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Spectrum Internet Assist Program

Spectrum is offering qualified households low-income Internet assistance through its Spectrum Internet Assist program.


Business Resources

Short Time Compensation Program for Employers:

This Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) program helps employers retain their workforce in times of temporary slowdown by encouraging work sharing as an alternative to layoff.  
 

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Resources:

For the latest updates about resources for Pinellas County businesses, visit the Pinellas County Economic Development Council website or follow on LinkedIn. Florida businesses can also visit http://floridadisaster.biz for more information.


Mental Health & Emotional Support

The following crisis hotlines provide free, confidential support:

Counseling for First Responders

Directions for Living is offering no-cost 30-minute virtual counseling sessions for first responders, including healthcare workers, EMS staff, law enforcement officers, firefighters and mental health personnel. To schedule an appointment, call 727-385-3394.

PEMHS Pinellas Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT)

PEMHS’s Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) is providing crisis intervention services for Pinellas County residents of all ages. Their mobile team is available 24/7 on demand and consists of licensed behavioral health therapists and psychiatrists who are available to assist via telehealth or in person while practicing social distancing. A team can be dispatched to the location of the crisis with a target response time of 60 minutes from the time of the call. Call 727-362-4424 to reach the MCRT.

Services include:

  • Evaluation and assessment
  • Development of safety or crisis plans
  • Providing or facilitating stabilization services
  • Supportive Crisis Counseling
  • Education: development of coping skills
  • Linkage to appropriate resources
  • Tele-health services for psychiatric care as available through partnering agencies
  • Peer Support Services: involve a range of activities and interactions between people who share similar experiences of being diagnosed with behavioral health conditions.

Resources for Pregnant Women & New Parents

The Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas County is offering resources to help pregnant women and parents of babies younger than one year old during the COVID-19 outbreak. For questions about prenatal care, counseling, and other services, contact the Healthy Start Coalition using the contact information below: 

Phone: 727-507-4260 (Leave a voicemail with your name and number) 
Email: info@healthystartpinellas.org 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Healthystartofpinellascounty


Transportation


Need further assistance with local community resources?

Contact 211 Tampa Bay Cares by texting your zip code to 898211 or dialing 211 (available 24 hours a day).