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Clearwater city leaders approve program to help residents financially impacted by COVID-19

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Posted at 3:45 PM, Jun 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-21 18:40:32-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Following in the footsteps of cities like Tampa and St. Petersburg, Clearwater city leaders are moving forward with a program to help residents who were financially impacted by the coronavirus.

Coronavirus cases continue to rise even though the state has reopened. According to the Department of Health, Florida has more than 97,000 confirmed cases and over 3,100 have died from the virus as of Sunday, June 21.

One of the latest victims was a 17-year-old boy from Pasco County.

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“It’s a little shocking,” said Joseph Santana.

Santana lives in Clearwater. He and his family were out celebrating Father’s Day and lighting firecrackers. He said Sunday was their first time out in months.

“We missed it so much, but the virus is serious,” he said. "I was out of work for a while.”

Santana is one of the thousands of people who lost their jobs due to the virus. He’s back at work now but was happy to find out about Clearwater’s Rent, Mortgage and Utility assistance program.

People who live within Clearwater city limits can apply. If you are approved, the city will pay $4,000 in unpaid rent, mortgage or utility bills.

According to the city, your delinquencies must be from April and beyond. If you are approved, the city will send the payment to the utility company, landlord or mortgage holder.

The program will work like Pinellas County’s “Cares Program,” according to officials.

To get the full list of requirements and to apply, click here.