McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Collin County leaders say they are about to put tens of millions of dollars in federal aid to use for the benefit of its citizens hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Collin County Commissioners Court adopted the ‘Collin Cares’ recovery plan this week to help families and individuals impacted by COVID-19.

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The county plan provides direct financial assistance for housing, utilities and groceries; as well as funding for COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment, and cities’ COVID-19 costs and recovery efforts.

The funds come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided more than $171 million in federal aid to Collin County.

“We were thinking originally we were gonna get less than $1 million so it was quite shocking to us,” said Collin County Commissioner Darrell Hale.

Hale said he thought the county was getting $171,000 in federal money, not $171 million.

The much needed grant money will help thousands more Collin County residents with food, utilities and housing.

The funding provides relief for family and government costs incurred from March 1 through the end of the year.

Under Collin Cares, the Commissioners Court is providing:

· $3 million for COVID-19 testing for uninsured individuals

· $5 million for personal protective equipment (PPE)

· $45 million for housing (rent and mortgage), utilities, and food assistance

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· $5 million to help re-stock local food pantries

· $50 million to cities for COVID-19 costs and recovery efforts

· $40 million for county COVID-19 costs

Additionally, the Commissioners Court has reserved $23 million for future costs.

Collin Cares will provide up to $2,500 in monthly financial assistance to each qualifying household, with a maximum of four months of eligibility.

Hale says 40,000 Collin County residents have applied for unemployment.

That’s four times the number in March when businesses began shutting down.

Area charities say the financial help can’t come soon enough and that they are quickly reaching the limit on help they can provide without more assistance.

Dallas residents who live in Collin County must apply for assistance through the City of Dallas, which has also received relief funds under the CARES Act.

Officials are also finalizing plans for expanded COVID-19 testing options in the county.

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