MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - After President Trump signed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act for coronavirus relief, we know money is on the way. Because Mesa has more than 500,000 people, the local government will get some federal dollars, though they don’t know how much yet. To get a step ahead on how to spend whatever money they do get, the City is calling people up to ask how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting them.
The Mesa CARES program rolled out a few days ago and it has two parts.
First, more than 100 City employees are calling residents, businesses, nonprofits and faith-based communities to see how the City can help.
“We have thousands of people that we are talking to to find out what their biggest needs are,” assistant city manager Kari Kent said.
The data collected will be presented to the City Council on Tuesday, April 14.
“It could be utility assistance. It could be rent. It could be food. It could be health care,” Kent said.
It’s helping city employees, too. Though recreational centers are currently closed, most of the employees making those phone calls are recreation workers.
“We’re repurposing these individuals to be able to utilize them for different things,” Kent said. “We have great staff that provide a lot of different services.”
If you live in Mesa and get that call, it would be in your best interest to answer. But if you don’t get the call, you can still reach out yourself. The other part of Mesa CARES is a hotline. Calls to 480-644-CARES are answered by the City’s librarians while libraries are also closed.
“Those librarians are actually connecting residents who call them with available resources that are within the City of Mesa, that are with some of our nonprofits, it could be city services that we’re offering,” Kent said.
A new section on the city website will continuously update as they add more programs. Kent says this should have the city ready to act quickly once that federal money arrives.
Remember – City employees will never ask you for personal information or credit card numbers on these calls. If somebody requests that from you, hang up on them.