Struggling residents breathe sigh of relief as Tampa grants help with bills

Carolina Daniels finally got her first full night sleep in weeks. That’s because the single mother of two found out the city of Tampa will pay her rent this month and the timing couldn’t be better.

“I slept the whole night; it was such a relief,” Daniels explained. "They’re going to pay, I think, $1,000 towards my rent and $250 towards my utilities and that’s awesome because I don’t have it."

Daniels was in the hospitality business and often worked banquets but when the pandemic happened she lost her job. She heard about Tampa’s relief program, which helps families and small businesses with bills and food and signed up for it online. 

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor had just announced it.

“Whatever way we as a community can help those that have been hardest hit that’s what we’re aiming to do,” Castor said. 

Juan Carlos Espinosa signed up too. He got the good news yesterday. 

Espinosa lost his job as a restaurant server and like Daniels, he was having trouble sleeping as the end of the month approached. Now he will have his utility bills paid, by this grant and he couldn’t be more relieved.

“You can breathe now a little bit more,” said Juan. 

City officials say they are still reviewing small businesses. 

RELATED Tampa businesses can begin applying for One Tampa relief funds Tuesday