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Over 1,000 St. Louis residents apply for $500 pandemic aid

December 19, 2021 GMT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — More than 1,000 St. Louis residents have already applied for a new $5 million pandemic aid program that will provide $500 apiece to everyone who qualifies.

Hundreds of people applied for the aid Saturday at an event at St. Louis Community College. The United Way of Greater St. Louis, which helping run the new city program, organized the event. Hundreds of others applied for aid online, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“We know that $500 doesn’t solve all the problems in the world,” said city Treasurer Adam Layne, whose office is involved with the program.

“We know that a lot of people are in tough situations right now because of the pandemic. So we’re hoping that this is an opportunity to alleviate some of those burdens.”

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City officials decided to create aid program with some of the $498 million in federal aid St. Louis expects to receive over two years.

To be eligible for the program, St. Louis residents must have lived in the city for at least a year and have income that is at or below the area’s median income. And recipients must also have lost income because of the pandemic.

Russell Hayes III, 60 said he plans to use the money to fix his truck that he needs to make money doing odd jobs, such as yard work and hauling scrap.

Karen Williams, 68, of the Ville neighborhood, said the money would help her cover her electric bills and rent.