SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio nonprofit is stepping up to help people who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic as federal eviction protections come to an end.
SAMMinistries officials say their demand has gone up significantly.
“SAMMinistries in that period of time from April to June has served 500 more households than we did last year,” said Nikisha Baker, chief operating officer at SAMMinistries.
Baker said the nonprofit is helping people who didn’t need assistance in the past.
“We are seeing such an incredible need for folks who are not typically our client, who, you know, maybe (say), ‘I had two or three month’s worth of savings, and now that I’ve been laid off for four months, I can’t pay my rent anymore,’” Baker said. “We are focused on reaching those clients, folks in need, in apartment communities across San Antonio, so that they are aware that resources are available and that SAMMinistries is here to help.”
Baker said with the expiration of the federal eviction protections, she expects more San Antonians will be seeking their assistance.
“We’ve seen such an increased need in terms of folks who are either facing eviction in their current apartment or folks who have already been evicted and are needing to be rehoused as a result of the pandemic,” Baker said.
SAMMinistries said it has an application for CARES ACT funding pending that will potentially allow it to add more staff to serve more clients.
Johnny Herrera said he lost his job in 2019, and he ended up at Haven for Hope. That’s when he learned about SAMMinistries.
He said the nonprofit helped him find a job, but he lost the job due to the pandemic.
“I actually might be homeless again if it wasn’t for them,” Herrera said.
Herrera said the nonprofit is helping him find a new job and providing rent assistance.