Website links for kids and learning during COVID-19 – update 5/22/2020

Thanks to one of our Coalition members for compiling the start of this list! We’ll add more as we hear about other resources – if you have ideas to add, please email projectcool[at]homelessinfo.org

Free computer resources for kids

Cirque de Solielhttps://www.cirquedusoleil.com/cirqueconnect – watch a different hour long show on-line, see behind the scenes and more!

Google Arts & Culturehttps://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en
Google is offering free virtual tours of more than 1,200 museums across the globe.

ABCmouse.comwww.abcmouse.com
ABCmouse is offering their lessons in different subjects like math, science and art for free thanks to UNICEF. All you have to do is go to ABCmouse.com/redeem and type in the code “AOFLUNICEF”

Readworks.orghttps://www.readworks.org/
If you’re looking to really zoom in on reading comprehension, Readworks is going to be a great fit for you, providing content from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. Readworks is a nonprofit, donation-based service, and the suggested donation is $25, though you can access the content for free.

123 Homeschool4mehttps://www.123homeschool4me.com/home-school-free-printables/
Resources are organized by subject and grade. Helpful education activities to keep kids learning and printable worksheets when you need them to sit and get some work done.

Arcademics – https://www.arcademics.com/
Multiplayer educational games for KG-8, from free math games to language games. Combines the excitement of video games with educational content to produce a high rate of learning.

Bedtime Math – http://bedtimemath.org/bedtime-math-for-families/
Bedtime Math provides free apps, books and printable activity pages. The platform is targeted toward children age 2 through elementary school.

BeeLine Reader – http://www.beelinereader.com/education
Improves the reading ability of students of all ages and skill levels. Free access to the BeeLine Reader Browser Plugin for Chrome through September 2020. Email education@BeeLineReader.com for a free account!

BlocksCAD – https://www.blockscad3d.com/distance_learning
BlocksCAD builds math and computer science skills by using specialized 3-D CAD (computer-aided drafting) software. A block-based coding platform allows students to create and manipulate 3-D objects while using geometry and computational thinking skills.

BrainPOP – https://www.brainpop.com
BrainPOP invites students to discover, play and create, enriching and deepening their understanding of topics across the curriculum. Children are encouraged to make movies out of images, build maps and develop their block-based coding skills. BrianPOP Jr. targets children from 0 to 3 whereas BrainPOP focuses on K-12 grade children.

Club Oasis – http://social.oasismatters.com/
Club Oasis is a free online STEM club for children and parents. Join the DYI STEM labs, live classes, coding lessons and live pop-ups. Activities are targeted toward elementary schools students and older.

Coolmath4kids – https://www.coolmath4kids.com/
Kindergarten to sixth grade. Kids can work on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions through online math games, quizzes, manipulatives and more. For kids 13 and up, visit their sister site at coolmath.com.

Desmoshttps://teacher.desmos.com/
Desmos is a learning community that provides students with incredible online tools to help them visualize math problems and creating interactive tutorials where students can “do” and collaborate in real time. Turn math into a game and play it in a team with kids from all over the world.

Dictionary.com – https://www.dictionary.com/
Build your vocabulary daily and learn about trending words! Hop online to see the word of the day and test your knowledge by the end of the week. There are several ways to build your vocabulary on Dictionary.com; improve your language skills with word games, see what words are trending in the news, learn about the English language, and simply browse the dictionary by focusing on one letter at a time.

Discovery K-12 – http://discoveryk12.com/dk12/
Discovery K-12 is a great addition to kids’ pre-K to 12th-grade curriculum. Free lessons and activities are available in seven directives: language arts, reading, math, science, history/social studies, performing arts and physical education.

Dreamscape – https://www.squigglepark.com/dreamscape/
This free game allows kids to have fun while engaging them in reading activities and challenging their skills. Dreamscape understands that kids learn in several ways, one of which is through games which aim to foster the growth of early literacy skills. This includes print knowledge, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonetics, high-frequency words and spelling. These games are for children in grades 2-8.

DuckDuckMoose – http://www.duckduckmoose.com/
If you’re looking for some apps for the tablet, we recommend DuckDuckMoose for the preschool to kindergarten set. Graphics and interface are engaging and easily accessible for children. From puzzles, maps, to fun music apps where you can learn notes and rhythm, kids gravitate enthusiastically to this sister site of Khan Academy.

Duolingo – https://www.duolingo.com/
This free app site is perfect for your bilingual child to work on a series of practice exercises. From Arabic to Portuguese, kids will not fall behind with these fun and educational lessons.

Everyday Earth – https://www.everyday-earth.com/
Have you ever wondered how water changes Earth’s landscape or how are rocks formed? Take a walk with an Oklahoma Park Ranger on a video mission and learn the answers to these and many other questions related to nature and wildlife.

Everyday Learning – https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/everyday-learning/
A PBS Learning Media resource that is perfect for pre-K kids. Topics from math, science to art provide early childhood resources to strengthen kids’ interest and sense of discovery.

Khan Academy – https://www.khanacademy.org/
Khan Academy is a free resource for students, parents and teachers. From exercises, quizzes, tests and instructional videos, students can practice and master educational skills. This resource is available in 40 languages and offers instruction from kindergarten to early college math, grammar, science, history, AP courses, SAT prep and more.

Little Twisters Yoga & Emotional Wellness – https://littletwistersyoga.com/
For kids ages 2 and up this resource with tips on how to engage kids through yoga. Fun printable lessons like Space Shape Yoga and Kids Yoga Cards are free for all during the COVID-19 school closure and quarantine.

Mathcelebrity.com – Need help with your math homework? The next time you get stuck on a math problem and want to learn step by step how to solve it, use Math Celebrity. Plug the problem in and see how to solve it. Get the answer and see where you went wrong.

Math Scorehttp://www.mathscore.com/
KG – seventh grade. It contains all of the major components of a learning system, such as assessments, math topics, lessons and score tracking for parents and teachers who want to assess the child’s progress. With MathScore Freemium, you can use the platform for free and only choose to pay when a student is ready for the premium content.

Metkids – https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/metkids/
Kids ages 5 and up. Give kids a dose of art and culture. Kids can learn about a particular period or collection and explore art via the “Time Machine,” starting as early as 8000-2000 BC to present time with fun facts and videos.

Minecraft Education Edition – https://education.minecraft.net/
Perfect for Minecraft fanatics, this Minecraft Education Edition focuses on coding, math, problem-solving all via the Minecraft way. Kids will love this education version while parents will love that it is free!

NaNoWriMo – https://www.nanowrimo.org/
This site is for the young writer who is itching to write a novel … in 30 days. Common Core-aligned lesson plans from prewriting to publishing help kids to develop and fine-tune their writing skills. For students who are up for using their imagination to create another world or simply tell their story. From lower elementary to high school.

PBS Kids – https://pbskids.org/
For toddlers up to pre-K students. Kids can also hop on their favorite shows such as Wild Kratts and Dinosaur Train, where games are designed to enrich their education.

ProjectGutenberg – https://www.gutenberg.org/
A free library of over 60,000 free eBooks that include a children’s literature category where kids can download or read online classics like “Little Women” and “Peter Pan.”

Scholastic – https://www.scholastic.com/home/
Students can visit the Scholastic website for a wealth of educational activities from grades pre-K and up.

Scholastic Learn at Home https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
They are offering their lessons for free. You can choose activities within from grade levels between PreK and 6+. These include e-books kids can read along with, and educational videos under their “Watch and learn Library.”

Sesame Street – https://www.sesamestreet.org/
With a mission to help kids meet critical early development needs. One of the best resources for the pre-K and kindergarten set, as well as kids with special needs. You’ll find video, games and art projects online.

Science Friday – https://www.sciencefriday.com/
For elementary to high school students with lessons that engage through stories and podcasts. Segments in categories like Physics & Chemistry, Earth Science, Brain and Biology, and more will provide kids with a new way of seeing science.

Storylineonline.net – https://www.storylineonline.net/
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Story Online features cool videos were celebrities such as Sarah Silverman and Chris O’Dowd read books that entertain, providing you a bit of time to get some work done.

Wonderopolois.com – http://wonderopolis.org/
On this cool site, kids can learn about a 2,000-plus wonders of the world. Questions come from the site’s users and cover a wide range of topics such as Why Do Whales Breach? Kids are full of wonder, and this site has many of the answers.

https://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/events-programs/curiosity-at-home/ (this is interesting, has videos to watch)

http://samblog.seattleartmuseum.org/category/stay-home-with-sam,video,sams-collection,object-of-the-week,exhibtions,behind-the-scenes

https://www.seattletimes.com/life/at-home-with-kids-because-of-coronavirus-closures-here-are-23-fun-activities-using-stuff-you-already-have

https://www.seattleaquarium.org/live-cams

https://scratch.mit.edu

From Seattle Public Library:

May 21, 2020 Coalition Annual Membership Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Membership Meeting!

Sign up for Coalition emails to make sure you receive updates and notice of upcoming meetings. Highlights and resources shared on the call are below.

Click here to view the Coalition’s PowerPoint Presentation.

Recording of the Coalition’s Annual Membership Meeting, May 21, 2020.
**We started the recording about 10 minutes into the meeting. Missing from this recording is the opening ceremony by Randy with Chief Seattle Club.*
  • 9:00 – Welcome and Introduction
  • Opening Ceremony by Chief Seattle Club Drummers – thank you Randy Tippins-Firstrider, Youth Outreach Case Manager with Chief Seattle Club

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New Coalition Mission, Vision, and Values – Thank you to Coalition Board members for sharing our new guiding principles. And thank you to all our members who contributed to this process

  • Kate Baber, President, Coalition on Homelessness Board
  • Anna Strahan, Coalition on Homelessness Board Member
  • Derrick Belgarde, Treasurer, Coalition on Homelessness Board

——–

Board of Directors Election: Each dues-paying member organization has one vote to elect the slate of candidates for the Board. We are pleased that four Board members have agreed to renew their terms of service: Derrick Belgarde, Katie Escudero, Benjamin Miksch, Jenn Romo. Primary membership contacts will hear from us directly about this. If you think you are the person who should vote, or have a question, please email us

Highlights from the past year with the Coalition – see photos in our PowerPoint Presentation linked above!

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City, County and Statewide Advocacy Opportunities

Regarding sweeps currently happening in the City of Seattle, Alison shared:

  • “We don’t find it to be acceptable under any circumstances that people are left to fend for themselves. We have proudly and successfully wrangled with multiple mayoral administrations over these kinds of dehumanizing and morally wrong actions. And now this.
  • In the context of a global health emergency, in context of interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that clearly states in the absence of individual housing options people living unsheltered should not be moved during community transmission of COVID-19; We are seeing the City of Seattle go against what Mayor Durkan and members of her administration said at the beginning of this pandemic – which was that they would only take such action in a true emergency.
  • We’ve now, this week alone, seen at least 2 major sweeps of people experiencing homelessness outside. We’ve seen at least two others, both the Ballard Commons sweep on May 4 and a sweep of a portion of the area outside the Navigation Center Shelter on April 24.
  • The Coalition has expressed our strong opposition and outrage not only to the mayor and the city council, but we’ve been in communication with people at the CDC, with our Public Health Department and with the Washington State Attorney General’s office as well as with attorneys on the ground here. I want to assure you our members that we’ll continue to advocate essentially on every front possible. I want to recognize and acknowledge the extraordinary work of the frontline outreach staff.”

City Council Proposal (CB 119796) to suspend sweeps during the stay home, stay healthy order

Prepare for a likely Special Session of the State Legislature

  • Look up your state legislative district: https://bit.ly/walegdistricts
  • Michele Thomas, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
  • We don’t know exactly when a special session might happen, but it is likely
  • We’ll need everyone to get engaged now to get our boards and organizations ready to ask for massive progressive revenue in the state. Washington is facing a major budget deficit and a vast majority of the budget that is discretionary and could be changed is human services, housing, and homelessness related funding. Get ready!
  • We’ll host a Homelessness Advocacy 101 workshop virtually before a special session begins.

——–

Director Chat

Sound Transit issued a press advisory stating that they’ll begin resuming fare collection and fare enforcement on the light rail. Speak up soon – we’ll post an action for people to take before the Sound Transit Board Meeting where this will be discussed next Thursday, May 28.

We’ll be hiring soon – stay tuned.

——–

COVID Resources Update: Check out our resources page: http://homelessinfo.org/resource/covid/

  • Our Homeless Service Change Tracker with information on the status of day centers, meal services and shelter programs in King County. We want to keep this as up to date as possible, if you see the need for additions of corrections please email those to us.
  • A variety of resource guides, including these step by step instructions for helping someone file to receive their stimulus payments.

EFSP Funding Announcement: King County has been awarded $ 1.9M in federal funds under Phases 37 and Phase CARES of the Emergency Food and Shelter National Program. The money is to be used to supplement existing emergency food and shelter programs in King County

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Census 2020 Updates

Help folks you work with complete the Census. The deadline is now October 31, but we encourage people to fill out the Census as soon as possible.

People can complete the Census in three ways:

  • Online: https://2020census.gov
    • Households would have had a Census ID mailed to them, but if someone does not have one because they don’t have a residential location or they no longer have the code, they can say that they don’t have a Census ID and still fill out the census
    • There will be a check box for “I do not have a street address” and then a question asking if someone was experiencing homelessness on April 1, 2020. After that people can provide a description of where they were staying, or a city.
  • Mail in paper forms – for households who didn’t respond by mid-April, people should have received a paper form in the mail. Other than that, unless your organization is working with the Census Bureau directly to have paper forms, it is best to help people fill out the census online or via the phone.
    • In-person non-response follow-up to households who have not completed the Census is currently scheduled for August 11 – October 31.

Toolkits available with information and visuals to share

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Face Covering Directive and Cloth Mask Distribution Efforts

  • Information about Face Covering Directive: www.kingcounty.gov/masks
  • The Coalition, in partnership with King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is helping to distribute cloth masks to get to people who are experiencing homelessness. Key contacts at provider organizations should have received an email from DCHS on 5/20.

——–

Guest Musical Performance by Dear Crow (Penka Jane Culevski and Brian Lindsey). Thank you. As a meeting attendee said, musical medicine.

Resources from the meeting we’ll highlight (more to be added after the meeting)

Discounted Telephone Service Programs Updates due to COVID-19 – Updated 5/15/2020

UPDATED 05/15/2020: List of Lifeline Supported Providers: Click here to see if you qualify for a Lifeline phone, then contact one of the below approved area providers for next steps. Thank you to Michael-Hall Young and his team at the Healthcare for the Homeless Network for sharing this information.

  • Access Wireless – apply online or via mail, takes about 7-9 business days to process applications if apply online
  • Assurance – apply online or via mail, takes about 5-7 business days to process applications if you apply online
  • TerraCom Wireless – Apply via phone, takes about 3-5 business days to get phones out to clients. cell phone service only.
  • enTouch – Apply via website/mail, clients must provide phones – bring unlocked phone (no guarantee to work), get phone from trusted partner, or purchase for ~$50 from enTouch, takes 5 days to approve application & 7-10 days to ship SIM card
  • Safelink – Apply online or by phone, clients must provide unlocked phone, takes about 7-10 days to process applications (if apply online)

Low Cost Telephone Access: As social service agencies close their offices and transition to remote case management to meet Public health recommendations, access to affordable phones is more important than ever. The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), in conjunction with Lifeline have adopted some changes to make it easier for people to access discounted telephone service. The Coalition will update this as we gather additional information, if you have anything to add please email Jason

Lifeline: A federal program that provides discounted phone and internet service to qualifying low income households. To qualify, a household must be at or below 135% Federal Poverty Limit or be enrolled in a program such as SNAP, SSI or Medicaid. Lifeline is awarded by household not individual, and a household can qualify if they have a dependent minor child who qualifies for one of the afore mentioned programs.

Changes Related to COVID-19: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued temporary emergency guidance making it easier for qualifying households to access this benefit. The order waives recertification and reverification requirement for the Lifeline program for 60 days. This means  clients who have been approved in the past do not need to report income again in order to be re-approved for a phone, and clients who are currently receiving services are not at risk of having their service disconnected due to failure to report their information. This order went into effect on March 17 and is in effect until Sunday June 5. Click here to fill out an online application.

To Add Minutes: The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) can add minutes to a Lifeline phone free of charge. DSHS has streamlined this process to make it easier than ever before. Clients no longer need to request a PIN code in the mail to add minutes. Lifeline customers can simply call 1-877-501-2233, request additional minutes to their phone and follow instructions to refill minutes automatically.

Taking care of ourselves and taking care of each other – a few ideas from the Coalition

Physical distancing does not preclude social connection. From Zoom birthday parties to online yoga classes, people across the world have come up with creative ways for us to stay enriched and entertained while staying home and healthy. The Coalition believes that it is important to take time to re-energize and that joy and humor are essential tools in the fight against coronavirus. We have compiled a short list of fun ideas to share with you all. We would love to add your suggestions to this list, email Jason your ideas.

Cultivating Resilience in the Time of Coronavirus Webinar series every Friday from 1-2:30 p.m. Starting on May 8, ending on May 29.

The Seattle Community Policy Commission offers you a free resource designed to share tools for collectively navigating this emergency. They’ve partnered with Diana Mena of Esperanza Counseling and Consulting to lead a weekly webinar series called Cultivating Resilience in the Time of Coronavirus. This four-week webinar series will focus on cultivating awareness, crisis and the nervous system, a holistic overview of trauma, and cultivating trauma informed responses and resilience.
Register for Cultivating Resilience in the Time of Coronavirus here!
Webinars will be every Friday from 1pm-2:30pm – starting on May 8th and ending May 29th. These will include a one-hour presentation and a thirty-minute facilitated conversation where people will be able to share their thoughts, concerns, and questions.
Feel free to share this invitation. We encourage you, your staff, and anyone else you think may benefit from this series to participate. Registration is required, and you can do so by clicking here. While you are welcome to attend all four session, you are not required to. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to email us at Roxana.Garcia@Seattle.gov.

Go on a Virtual Adventure at One of These Exciting Locations

Dress up and Stay in: Attend a Free Virtual Performance

Stay Home Stay Active

Throw a Themed Virtual Party with Friends

Explore the Magic of Reading

April 30 Supplemental Membership Meeting

Because of rapid on-the-ground changes and new information related to COVID-19, we added a short special meeting to bridge the long weeks between our information-packed April 16 membership meeting (see notes here) and our next regular membership meeting on Thursday, May 21. This meeting is intended for front line and program staff in homeless services and housing organizations.

Agenda for meeting

  • 9:00 – Welcome and Introduction
  • Holding respectful silence for residents and guests who have lost their lives during the pandemic, and others who have died.
  • Information about how to help people access stimulus payments (see more here).
  • Update on public benefits changes (see more here)
  • CEA Policy Change Update
  • Homeless Service Change Tracker: http://homelessinfo.org/resource/covid/
  • Update on efforts to expand hygiene access for those living unsheltered
  • Shared learning:
    • We hope this conversation will move beyond what programmatic changes are happening to cover what program staff are learning as you do your work in the midst of major changes.
      • What is one thing you have learned during the coronavirus outbreak as you engage with people to offer outreach, hygiene, or health services; operate shelter or manage housing under new conditions, or balance your work with suddenly homeschooling?  
      • What is your favorite way to talk about social distancing with people you serve?
  • Experiences from the front lines: Reflections on Service Changes – staff from DESC, Catholic Community Services, Mary’s Place
  • Resources for taking care of ourselves and taking care of each other

What are you doing to take care of yourself, keep perspective, or connect with people and community outside of work?

The Coalition has been compiling a variety of resources to support our members in caring for ourselves and others. Taking care of ourselves can look for different people, here are some examples:

Take a virtual tour of the Smithsonian: https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour/current-exhibits

Practice yoga at home with free classes: https://www.thecut.com/2016/01/best-free-yoga-classes-online.html

Play games like Pictionary, card games, Scattegories, etc: http://playingcards.io https://skribbl.io

Host a Virtual Murder Mystery Party! https://murdermystery.com.au/how-to-host-a-virtual-murder-mystery-party-online

Have your own idea that should be added to our list? We want to hear from you, if you have creative suggestions please email Jason

Economic Impact Payments – Updated 06/01/2020

UPDATED 06/01/2020 – Step by Step Guide to helping someone claim their Economic Impact Payment.

Economic Impact Payments, otherwise known as stimulus checks, are one-time payments being offered as part of the federal governments COVID-19 relief package. Those who have filed a 2018/19 tax return, or those receiving SSI/SSDI benefits will see these payments automatically delivered, either through direct deposit or in the mail.

FOR THOSE WHO DID NOT FILE A 2018/19 TAX RETURN: The IRS has created an online tool to help you claim your benefit without having to file a tax return. Check out this step by step guide on how to help someone complete their application, with tips for opening a low-cost checking account and locations to set up a temporary mailing address. Thank you to the staff and volunteers at Angel Resource Connection for providing much of the information included in this document. You can learn more about their work in the community by visiting https://www.angelresourceconnection.org/

UPDATED 04/30/2020: Social Media Toolkit to help youth and young adults claim their stimulus benefit.

Stimulus check FAQ from Statewide Poverty Action Network

Thank you to Nicole Palczewski from DESC for helping to compile and share the information below:

What It Is: Economic Impact Payments are one-time payments that are being given to many Americans through the IRS as part of the federal government’s recent COVID19 economic stimulus package. These payments will be up to $1,200 for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of up to $75,000 (if you make less than $75,000, you will get the full $1,200 payment automatically). For married couples, the threshold is a gross income of up to $150,000, and couples can expect up to a $2,400 payment. For families with children under 17 years of age, you will receive an extra $500 per eligible child. This will be given to you the same way your tax refunds were returned for the previous year, either by direct deposit to the bank accounts listed on your previous tax forms or by paper check in the mail. You will not be eligible for this payment if your income is above $99,000 (individual or married filing separately), $136,500 (head of household), or $198,000 (married filing jointly), you are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, you do not have a valid social security number, you are a nonresident alien, or you filed Form 1040-NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS for 2019.

Clients That Qualify: Eligible Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients, retirees, disability and/or veteran’s benefits receivers, railroad retirees, and other taxpayers who do not normally make enough money to file a tax return under normal circumstances or who are otherwise not required to file a return, will not be required to file a return or provide further information to receive this payment – it will be automatically deposited to them. This includes those with no income or whose only source of income is from benefits programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

If you are still uncertain about whether or not to file a tax return to receive this payment, visit https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/do-i-need-to-file-a-tax-return for an online assessment.

What You Need To Do To Get These Payments: These are automatic payments generated using one’s 2019 tax return, if you’ve filed it. If you have not filed for 2019, the IRS will reference your 2018 tax return. If you still need to file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you can file using e-File or IRS Free File (for those with an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less). The IRS is also allowing people to file their 2019 tax return to receive deposit information for these payments, even if you do not need to file a tax return or only made non-taxable income, but the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” tool is the quickest way for the IRS to currently process payments. For security reasons, the IRS will mail a letter to your last known address about this payment within 15 days after the payment has been paid out to you. This letter will describe how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive payment. If you think this letter is a scam letter, contact the IRS directly or visit IRS.gov for more information.

Per the IRS: “The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money. Remember, the IRS will not call, text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.”

Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool: The IRS has come up with a web tool to help people who have not had to file taxes for the last two years (2018/2019), including those with too little income to file, SSI recipients, and veterans beneficiaries. Social Security, SSDI, and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with qualifying dependents will automatically receive $1,200 Economic Impact Payments but can use this tool to claim the extra $500/child for any children under 17 years old. Students and others who are claimed as dependents will not be able to use this tool, or to claim any payments.

Although non-filers will still be receiving Economic Impact Payments automatically, this tool will help calculate their payment amount and will allow the IRS to give them direct deposits and payments sooner. You can find this tool here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here This tool can only be found at IRS.gov – do NOT use any tools not hosted by the IRS.

Get My Payment tool: The IRS has a second web tool to help you check on your payment status, including when the payment is scheduled to be deposited/mailed to you. You can find this tool here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. You may need both your filed 2019 and 2018 tax returns to use this tool. If you are married filing jointly, either spouse can check on this payment using their personal information. This tool may not work properly if you do not normally file your tax return, or just filed your 2019 return and it is being processed; the tool uses personal information verification pulled from your SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 tax forms to check on your taxes in the IRS database. If you cannot provide this information accurately or do not normally file that paperwork, the tool may not work for you to generate payment amounts and processing timelines.

Why Am I Getting “Payment Status Not Available” On The “Get My Payment” Tool?: This tool is brand new and is lacking a lot of data, including recently filed 2019 tax returns. The IRS is working on expanding the data they have available to access through this tool. You may also be receiving this message because you don’t usually file a tax return and used the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” tool, but the IRS has not processed that entry yet. Those who receive VA benefits or submitted SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 forms have also not had their data entered in to this tool yet and may get a false error message. Some people who are not eligible for these payments are also getting this error message.

Should I Use “Get My Payment” Tool Or “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” Tool?: More information on that can be found at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/how-to-use-the-tools-on-irsgov-to-get-your-economic-impact-payment

How Can I Calculate my EIP?: The IRS has provided a PDF guide for how much you can expect from the payment, linked here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/how_do_I_calculate_my_eip.pdf

How Case Managers Can Help: Case mangers are crucial to this process by making sure all contact information, addresses, benefits, and identification for clients is up-to-date and complete in their case file, and across other agencies like DSHS and Social Security as needed. Because some of these state and national offices are currently closed due to COVID19, case managers should be proactive in confirming that clients are receiving these services properly and have a track record they can point to if their clients do not receive the payment or are denied the payment for any reason.

Case managers can also encourage clients to check their mail often and report back if they receive either the payment or payment notification letter. Clients should be encouraged to ask about their own benefits and confirm they are receiving the services and payments they need often.

Timelines, Deadlines, etc: The tax filing deadline for 2019 has been extended to July 15th, so this payment may take up to a few months to process. There is no current forecast for when these funds will be calculated and deposited.

To learn more about these payments in general, visit irs.gov/coronavirus.

State Public Benefit Program Changes due to COVID-19 – Updated 4/29/2020

UPDATED 4/29/2020, NEW PUBLIC BENEFITS INFORMATION:             

Department of Social and Health Services has issued additional guidance around accessing food and cash assistance. Click here to read a summary of changes from Solid Ground and see below for more information.

At our April 16 General Membership Meeting, we heard a presentation from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and Solid Ground on temporary changes being made to increase access to food and cash assistance through the state. A copy of that presentation can be found here, along with a one page summary of changes here.

Thank you to the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and Solid Ground for providing information on these changes. This information is current as of Tuesday April 21. Guidance may be further modified as the situation develops, so please check back here regularly as we will be updating this information.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

  • Program General Information: TANF is a monthly cash assistance program for families with children that can be accessed for a maximum of 60 months and requires that participants show proof that they have been looking for work or enrolled in school.
  • COVID Changes:
    • The work and school requirement has been suspended, and families that have reached their 60-month time limit can apply for an extension.
    • Any family that has a certification period for benefits ending in April or May will automatically have their benefits extended an additional six months, and mid-certification review requirements have been waived for the months of April and May as well. This change also applies to those receiving Age, Blind and Disabled (ABD) or Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) benefits.
    • The state still requires that TANF recipients follow the terms of their Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP), including attending any required legal or medical appointments. The terms of an IRP can be changed if a client can show sufficient proof of burden. If a client is concerned about meeting the terms of their IRP, they should request a modification by calling 1-877-501-2233 or by contacting their local Community Service Offices.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • Program General Information: SNAP provides a monthly award for food assistance. Individuals qualify by being low income and either caring for a minor child or having a recognized disability. Those who are low income without a recognized disability or caring for a minor child must show proof that they have been searching for work, school or volunteer opportunities as part of the ABAWD requirement (Able Bodied Adults Without Dependent Children)
  • COVID Changes:
    • The ABAWD requirement has been temporarily waived. Those who were previously denied benefits due to this are encouraged to re-apply.
    • Households enrolled in SNAP should also expect to see additional funds for the months of April and May as part of the federal stimulus package. Inform concerned clients that these additional funds are not an overpayment. 

 Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

  • Program General Information: LIHEAP is a program that provides a once per year grant to qualifying households to offset home heating costs. LIHEAP funding is flexible to accommodate almost any heating fuel source used by a home, and can be applied to rental costs in some circumstances.
  • COVID Changes:
    • Households who have previously qualified for LIHEAP may be awarded an additional $500 grant if they can prove they have been adversely affected by COVID-19. See this handout for more information.

 Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP)

Proof of income is required to qualify for these programs.

  • People can submit proof of income through an attached PDF when applying online at the Washington Connection portal. Although service hours have been reduced, Community Service Offices still have some limited in-person services available. If the easiest way to submit income verification is in-person, you can drop materials off at CSO drop box location.
  • For more information or to begin an application by phone, please call 1-877-980-9220. First time applicants will be required to call in to verify information.

April 16, 2020 Coalition Membership Meeting Zoom Call – Agenda & Resources

Thank you for joining our meeting!
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Recording of April 16, 2020 General Membership Meeting

Agenda for Thursday, April 16 meeting

  • 9:00 – Introduction and welcome
  • Poetry reading by Anitra Freeman
  • Coalition Solidarity Fund
  • Coalition on Homelessness COVID-19 Homeless Service Change Tracker
  • Food Assistance Update
  • Seattle City Councilmember Gonzalez’s Bills
    • Vy Nguyen, Legislative Aide to Seattle City Councilmember Lorena González
      • CB 119761 will create another defense to eviction due to nonpayment over the next six months (such as temporary loss of income, etc.)
      • CB 119762 will require landlords to accept payment plans for back rent
  • Statewide Eviction Moratorium Extension
    • Xochitl Maykovich, Political Director, Washington Community Action Network
    • Updates to the temporary moratorium on evictions
  • Public Benefits: COVID-19 Related Changes to State Public Assistance Programs
  • COVID-19 Public Health Information
  • Coalition Staff Updates
    • Advocacy work on hygiene stations
    • Census 2020
    • Veterans Assistance Programs
  • HOLD Thursday April 30, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (sign up for Coalition emails for notice of upcoming meetings)
  • Next Monthly Membership Meeting: Thursday, May 21, 9:00 a.m. via Zoom (Please register for call).

Resources from the meeting

Coalition

Public Benefits COVID-19 Related Changes

Additional Resources

Important COVID-19 Public Health Resources

  • Here are a few important resources for you and your staff to be aware of (hopefully you already are!). Visit the Healthcare for the Homeless Network COVID website for more information: https://kingcounty.gov/covid/homeless.
    • COVID Listserv: Every service provider should make sure to sign up for the County’s email listserv by emailing the email or visiting http://tiny.cc/COVIDCheck to receive timely and important updates.
    • covidhomelessnessresponse@kingcounty.gov email – if you have any questions or need support, email this email.If you want Public Health to come out to your site to provide support in helping you set up well, include FAST team request in the subject line.
    • Wednesday 2-3pm meetings for homeless service providers hosted by Public Health
      • We highly encourage one lead staff person from each agency to participate, and then be responsible for disseminating information within your organization. These calls happen every Wednesday from 2-3pm. You can get call information online here.
  • Tuesday & Thursday 11am Q&A calls with Public Health: These calls provide the opportunity for homeless service providers to share questions and get answers from King County staff about COVID-19. To see meeting details and specific topics (sometimes they are general, sometimes more specific), click here.
  • Thursday 12pm Homeless Outreach Provider Calls with Public Health: These calls are an opportunity for Outreach Workers to come together to share best practices and get updates on the ever developing COVID-19. To see meeting details, click here.
  • COVID Hotline: 206-477-3977 If you believe someone at your worksite is showing symptoms of coronavirus, or if you have questions about how your program should respond we encourage you to reach out. If you are seeking assistance for someone experiencing homelessness, please say so at the beginning of the call so the operators know how best to direct your call.
  • Additional resources, including a recently revised copy of the Sanitation and Hygiene Standards Guide can be found on the Healthcare for the Homeless website. We encourage you to check this site regularly as information is being updated.

Coalition Zoom 101 tips to help you feel prepared –

  1. We will provide the Zoom call registration link ahead of time via email and on our website. Visit our website and join our email list: http://homelessinfo.org/
  2. “Introduce” yourself by re-naming your Zoom name to include your name and organization (click the three dots in the upper right corner of your video/name box)
  3. Folks are muted upon entering our calls to allow folks to hear presenters and limit background noise, with the ability to unmute yourself.
  4. If you will be joining us via phone, please email Coalition staff to inform us. To switch between mute and unmute, press *6.
  5. The chat box is a great way to engage in conversation during the call with the host and other participants – ask questions, share information and resources. We may not have time to answer the questions that come through in the chat box during the call; however, we will do our best to follow up.
  6. We welcome feedback on our Zoom meetings! If you would like, contact the Coalition with any positive and constructive thoughts.

Solidarity Fund – Rapid Response to COVID-19 pandemic

The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness announces the launch of our Solidarity Fund. 
This is a rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the clear and disproportionate dangers this emergency presents to people already experiencing homelessness.  
Solidarity Funds are available to help local organizations address urgent on-the-ground needs with flexibility and speed.

Donate to our Solidarity Fund:
Select “COVID19” on our donation page.

What can funds be used for?
Funds are intended to support programming and direct services, or bolster internal operations to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tell us what you need to do your work.  
We will consider requests to fund tangible goods, supplies, and direct services up to $5,000. Requests over $5,000 will be considered on a case-by-case basis as our funding pool allows.

Please note: We created this fund quickly as generous people asked us how to offer immediate help in an unprecedented emergency on top of the crisis of homelessness. This is a new area of work for us, and a work in progress, subject to revision as we learn and get feedback. Our goal is for the Solidarity Fund to be a responsive, streamlined, useful, and equitable source of practical support.

Our members have first-hand knowledge about homelessness and the strengths and gaps in services and systems. This grounds our work in reality. The Solidarity Fund is intended to respond to that reality and improve life, health, and safety for people in our community NOW.  We will continue to advocate for massive, coordinated, and effective government response and strengthened public policies at the local, state, and federal levels.  

Administration: We will draw a 10% administrative fee from the funding pool to cover costs to the Coalition of administering these grants. 

Applicants must:

  1. Be either 501c3 or fiscally sponsored.
  2. Provide direct services (outreach, shelter, day or hygiene services) or rent-restricted affordable housing to people who are homeless or who were formerly homeless, live in King County, and are living at or below 30% of the area median income.
  3. Have a clear plan and the capacity to spend funds within 90 days.

Applications will be prioritized by:

  1. Coalition member organizations [Membership dues are sliding scale and current ability to pay full dues should not be a barrier to membership. Please see our Membership page here.].
  2. Organizations with budgets of under $1,500,000 (we will consider requests from larger organizations but wish to prioritize smaller entities).
  3. Organizations that serve people who are currently without housing or shelter or people at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 or suffering severe health consequences if they do.
  4. Proposals that help meet needs not addressed adequately by existing public resources.

Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis. To apply, complete this google form or request an electronic or hard copy of the form, and submit it along with simple backup documentation to solidarity@homelessinfo.org. Review and turnaround will be within 7-10 days (we will be as responsive as possible).

Review criteria will include:

  • Applicant can demonstrate experience working respectfully and effectively with people experiencing homelessness or providing housing services to people who were formerly homeless.
  • Applicant has a clear plan to carry out proposed activity or deploy resource for which funds are requested within 90 days.
  • Applicant serves people who are unable to access mainstream services or advocate effectively for themselves; people who are without shelter; people who are at high risk to contract infectious diseases or suffer serious effects of such diseases.

A report, consisting of a brief narrative account of services provided or resources obtained and relevant receipts, is expected within 90 days of the grant being made. Reports may be made verbally by phone or video call, over email, or on-line.  

Please send questions to solidarity@homelessinfo.org  

Exclusions:

  1. Organizations that exclusively provide healthcare.
  2. Organizations that proselytize or require participation in religious activities or programming to be eligible or prioritized for services.
  3. Organizations that question or deny scientific evidence or best practices related to disease transmission, harm reduction, public health, or civil rights.
  4. Organizations that discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity, religious belief or lack thereof, immigration status.

Community ideas to support people experiencing homelessness and service providers during COVID19 pandemic

Online “marketplace” connects donors with people and organizations in need during COVID-19 outbreak

The King County Regional Donations Connector is now available online to link up individuals, businesses, non-profits, and others who have resources with those who need them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Donations Connector will help make sure services, supplies, and funding reach health care providers, first responders, and social service entities working on the front lines.

The website at kingcounty.gov/emergency/donate serves three major functions:

  1. A system that allows donations and offers of assistance to be used in the response effort.
  2. An online “marketplace” where offering organizations can be matched to those in need.
  3. An easily searchable list of ways the public can get help.

Donating businesses, agencies, and individuals are invited to share what they have to contribute (such as funding, medical supplies, masks, counseling, or other goods and services) and link up with organizations involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Who is the Donations Connector for?

  • Private and public entities with items or services to donate
  • Community and faith-based organizations
  • The general public

What types of donations are requested?

  • Funding
  • Food (both perishable and non-perishable)
  • Medical supplies
  • Sanitary supplies
  • Facility space
  • Services such as counseling (legal, mental health, etc.), labor, janitorial, catering, event planning, and more

Volunteering

People who want to volunteer their time can contact local volunteer groups or register through the United Way of King County at volunteer.uwkc.org/volunteer-response-covid-19. You can also view our Coalition member organizations here who may need volunteers.