LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The CARES Act, which provided relief money to Americans during the pandemic, is having a direct impact on Southwest Louisiana.
Coronavirus relief money given to the City of Lake Charles will be allocated to specific areas requiring of much-needed assistance.
“Obviously, here in Lake Charles, we are feeling the effects of COVID-19 just like every other community in this country,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. “However, on top of that, we have the hurricanes.”
The CARES Act gave just over $1 million to help lift the Lake Charles economy.
“This money must be spent as a response to COVID, but we also believe that we are hitting a couple birds with one stone by using these funds the way we plan to use them.”
The money will be used for small business stabilization, rental and mortgage assistance, and the mental well being of the community.
“We have a focus on mental health. There’s a lot of families, especially our youth, that have been so affected by what they’ve gone through over the last 10 months. We’re partnering with a local agency to provide mental health counseling and therapy to families.”
Mayor Hunter says the money must be used specifically how the legislation mandates it be spent.
“The City of Lake Charles is a fiscally responsible city. Let me tell you, there are cities that could’ve gone through what we went through in 2020 and would’ve absolutely been brought to their knees.”
He also says this relief money will be a shot in the arm for citizens and their families.
“We truly believe that we are going to make a great impact on a lot of locals with these funds.”
The mayor also said about $100,000 of the $1 million will be set aside for use as the need presents itself.