Economic Impact Payments – Updated 03/18/2021

UPDATED 11/10/2020 – Step by Step Guide to helping someone claim their Economic Impact Payment. Click here for Additional Materials March 18, 2021 Update: This information was created in 2020 to help people claim their Economic Impact Payments (AKS Stimulus Checks). The tools in this article can also be used to help someone claim their 2021 Economic Impact Payment. If you or someone you work with has yet to claim any of their stimulus checks they can do so by filing a 2020 tax return. For tax filing assistance in your community click here. In King County, in-person tax filing assistance is being offered at the Federal Way Multi-Service Center (1200 336th St, Federal Way WA 98003) on a first come, first serve basis Monday through Friday from 5pm to 9pm. Starting on March 22, tax filing assistance will also be offered at the Goodwill Training and Employment Center (700 Dearborn Pl S) every Friday from 8am to 5pm. Additional in-person locations TBD. 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. The deadline to claim this benefit is Saturday, November 21 2020 For additional information on stimulus checks, check out this training video. The CFPB is also offering virtual drop-in office hours so you can ask an expert your questions, every Wednesday at 11:30 until …

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State Public Benefit Program Changes due to COVID-19 – Updated 7/20/2020

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. Please note: Due to state budget cuts, DSHS will on on furlough every Monday through July and one Monday per month from August to November. Clients needing in-person or over the phone assistance are encouraged to reach out between 8am to 5pm, Tuesday through Friday. 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 …

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April 16, 2020 Coalition Membership Meeting

Thank you for joining our meeting!Sign up for Coalition emails to make sure you receive updates and notice of upcoming meetings. Agenda for Thursday, April 16 meeting 9:00 – Introduction and welcome Poetry reading by Anitra Freeman Coalition Solidarity Fund Solidarity Fund – Rapid Response to COVID-19 pandemic Coalition on Homelessness COVID-19 Homeless Service Change Tracker View tracker here: http://homelessinfo.org/resource/covid/ Email notices@homelessinfo.org with program updates Food Assistance Update Christina Wong, Government Relations Director, Northwest Harvest 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 Eric Tayag, Social Service Training Specialist, DSHS Hannah Rosenberger, Benefits Attorney, Solid Ground Grete Shultz, Benefits Attorney, Solid Ground COVID-19 Public Health Information Dr. Julie Dombrowski, Deputy Director, Public Health – Seattle & King County HIV/STD Program 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 Select Committee on Homelessness Strategies and Investments, 4/8/2020 Public Benefits COVID-19 Related Changes Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Rule Changes on Public Benefits, presentation from Eric Tayag, DSHS One-page Washington State Public Benefits COVID-19 Updates, Solid Ground Additional Resources Northwest Harvest COVID-19 response page, with FAQ on food distribution changes Live map where you can find what food banks or meal programs are …

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Solidarity Fund – Response to the COVID-19 pandemic

What is the Solidarity Fund? The Coalition created the Solidarity Fund in the Spring of 2020 as a rapid response to the COVID19 pandemic, and the clear and disproportionate threats of this crisis to people experiencing homelessness.  Phase I and Phase II have been completed. The Coalition seeks to provide emergency financial supports to organizations that serve people who are experiencing homelessness in King County. The Coalition is looking to fill in the system gaps where the current COVID-19 related funding streams do not provide clear or obtainable options. These funds are not designed to support core operational functions.  Instead, the Coalition is looking to provide micro-aid to help address emergent health and safety related issues caused by the ongoing pandemic conditions.  The Coalition is pleased to share the Solidarity Fund Phase II grantees. The goal of these funds was to provide emergency financial supports to organizations that serve people who are experiencing homelessness in King County. The Coalition awarded a total of $48,000 to the following organizations: Babies of HomelessnessBlack Trans Task Force Lavender Rights ProjectCommunity Lunch on Capitol HillElizabeth Gregory HomeImmanuel Community ServicesInterfaith Task Force on HomelessnessMuslim Community Resource CenterReal Change Homeless Empowerment ProjectReal Escape from the Sex TradeRestore and Repair Missionary OutreachSeattle Compassion ServicesSnoqualmie Valley Shelter ServicesSt. Stephen Housing AssociationThe People’s Harm Reduction AllianceThe WaystationUnify Seattle Donate to our Solidarity Fund:Select “Solidarity Fund” on our donation page as the gift designation. Questions? Please email solidarity@homelessinfo.org 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 …

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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: A system that allows donations and offers of assistance to be used in the response effort. An online “marketplace” where offering organizations can be matched to those in need. 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.

March 19, 2020 Coalition Membership Meeting Zoom Call – Agenda, Zoom tips, Resources

Thank you to all who joined our meeting – we had over 100 folks participate. Sign up for Coalition emails to make sure you receive updates and notice of upcoming meetings. Highlights of resources shared on the call are below. Agenda from Thursday, March 19 meeting 9:00 – Introduction to meeting, zoom call tips, welcome from Coalition, Grounding exercise 9:15 – 10:25- COVID-19 for Homeless Service Providers Jody Rauch, Clinical Quality Lead, Health Care for the Homeless Network Marta Lema, Homelessness Response Coordinator, Public Health Seattle-King County Environmental Health Services Division Leo Flor, Director of King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) Email covidhomelessnessresponse@kingcounty.gov to get on mailing list, get information about calls, share service changes, stay in touch. 10:25 – 10: 35 – Legislative Session Wrap-Up part 1 Representative Nicole Macri, Legislative District 43 10:35 – 10:50 – COVID-19 State policy changes (just a couple) Xochitl Maykovich, Political Director at Washington Community Action Network Eviction Moratoria in Seattle / King County and Washington State Marcy Bowers, Director, Statewide Poverty Action Network Changes to WorkFirst compliance guidelines during the pandemic ABAWD waiver, possible changes to EBT reporting requirements COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies on DSHS website 10:50 – 11:10 – 2020 Legislative Session Debrief Sarah Brady, Policy & Advocacy Manager, Child Care Resources Michele Thomas, Director of Policy & Advocacy, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance 11:10 – Census 2020 Update Stay tuned for further communications Partners on the phone: Maya Manus, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle Debbie Carlson, LGBTQ Allyship/Queer the Census Coalition Next Monthly Membership Meeting: Thursday, April 16, 9:00 a.m. via Zoom (Please register for call). Resources from the meeting we’ll highlight (more to be added after the meeting) COVID-19 related Email covidhomelessnessresponse@kingcounty.gov to get on mailing list, get information about calls, share service changes, stay in touch. …

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Seattle/King County Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for Homeless Service Providers

**We are no longer updating this blog post. Please visit our COVID-19 Resources page for the most up-to-date Coalition resources.** UPDATE: To find COVID-19 resources for homeless service providers, including an online tool to report positive cases at your program, please visit https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/providers.aspx (Last Updated: April 2, 2020 at 4 p.m.) This blog contains information about COVID-19 and resources for housing and homelessness service providers. Information about calls and webinars are at the top of this post, helpful documents are below. Please visit Public Health Seattle-King County’s website (www.kingcounty.gov/covid) or Public Health’s blog for general COVID-19 updates and information. Please visit Healthcare for the Homeless Network’s website for Homeless Provider specific information and documents. Public Health Seattle-King County is working closely with the WA State Department of Health and tracking information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Our goal is to ensure that homeless services and housing providers and advocates have timely and accurate information and resources to help you do your work well. IMPORTANT: Direct Homeless Service Providers should email covidhomelessnessresponse@kingcounty.gov to get on their distribution list for calls, important documents, and timely updates. Novel Coronavirus Call Center: 206-477-3977, hours: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily Tell the call center you work at a homeless service providing organization, or are with someone who is homeless who is showing symptoms (or has tested positive/awaiting results) – their phone tree will get you to somebody specific to provide support. Call if you are in King County and believe you were exposed to COVID-19—or if you’re a healthcare or service provider with COVID-19 questions. ————————————————————————————- Changing or reducing services or hours at your agency? If your agency is reducing or modifying any of your services as a result of COVID-19, please notify Public Health at …

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Employment Assistance Programs: Information and Coalition Update from January 16 Zoom Call

Although The Coalition cancelled our January Membership Meeting in recognition of the extra strain severe weather conditions put on people experiencing homelessness and on service providers, and the real difficulties of winter travel in our large county, we did host a ZOOM call to update members on the 2020 Legislative Session priorities, click HERE to visit our State Legislative Advocacy page see many ways you can take action! We had a great panel of staff from Employment Services Programs who were going to present at the meeting, and we will be rescheduling these presenters for a future Coalition meeting. In the meantime, we wanted to share programmatic and contact information for these employment and job readiness training programs so that your programs and clients can access these important resources. Please contact the programs below directly if you or your clients have any questions about their services. Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) serves people with disabilities between the ages of 16 to 80, and helps with gaining, maintaining and advancing in employment. Eligible clients must have a permanent disability (intellectual, mental and/or physical in nature) and barriers to employment. In order to refer, client must make contact themselves for intake unless they need assistance to call, and in that case, a case manager can set up the appointment if they let the front desk staff know the customer cannot make the initial contact. To request an intake, call 253-372-5900, or reach out to your local Work Source office for a referral. Please contact Allesandria Goard for more in-depth information on the services and nuances of the DVR program. Pioneer Human Services   Roadmap to Success is a job-readiness program for formerly justice involved individuals who are seeking full time employment To be eligible for the …

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2019 October 17 General Membership Meeting Summary and Bring Seattle Home for Good

The Coalition hosted another lively and informative General Membership Meeting on Thursday, October 17th at Southside Commons in Columbia City. The energy in the room was palpable as over 50 direct service providers and community advocates came together to help us shape the future of our organization, and to provide insight in the ongoing work we are all engaged in. At our meeting Coalition members provided input on a discussion of the Coalition’s Mission statement, as well as our Vision and Values that are currently being developed. The thoughtful responses and pointed questions were an important reminder of the collective knowledge our members bring to this work – Thank You. Participants also provided valuable input to the Corporation for Supportive Housing to aid their efforts in developing and refining the details of our Regional Action Plan. Take Action Now: Ask Seattle City Councilmembers to support the Home for Good. The Home for Good program was developed with members and partners of the Coalition, and the proposal is being sponsored by Councilmembers Lorena González and Lisa Herbold. Home for Good will provide a shallow rent subsidy to help people with disabilities who are transitioning from state assistance (primarily through Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) and Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD) to federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to prevent people from falling back into homelessness. Read David Kroman’s most recent Crosscut article about the proposal and use this link to Take Action Now and ask councilmembers to include this important program in the City’s budget. We see this as a real opportunity and need YOUR support to get as many supportive messages to councilmembers as possible. At our meeting we were joined by Julissa Sanchez, South King County organizer with The Tenants Union of Washington who shared the recent Just Cause victory …

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Annual Helping Homeless Students: McKinney-Vento 101 Workshop

The Coalition hosted another annual Helping Homeless Students: McKinney-Vento 101 Workshop on Thursday, September 26th as part of our series of Case Manager Trainings. Over 90 direct service providers and community advocates joined us for a three-hour training on the McKinney-Vento Act. Staff from Building Changes, specifically focused on their Schoolhouse Washington project, led the attendees through the basic provisions of the law and helped trainees work through case scenarios common to this work. A huge thank you to our presenters: Katara Jordan, Senior Manager, Policy & Advocacy, katara.jordan@buildingchanges.org Samie Iverson, Senior Manager, Education Strategies, samie.iverson@buildingchanges.org Mehret Tekle, Senior Manager, Education Strategies, mehret.tekle@buildingchanges.org   Their presentation included a PowerPoint presentation and collection of small group scenario questions, both of which can be found here. The 1986 McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law that includes rights and protections for homeless public K-12 students. Decades of social science data shows that students who frequently move schools due to a lack of stable housing have significantly worse outcomes than their peers. The McKinney-Vento Act attempts to address this by providing additional supports to address barriers to success. The definition of homelessness under the Act is different than definitions used in other social service contexts (it is broader than the HUD definition), which was identified by the presenters as a common source of confusion. The Act defines a student as homeless if that student lacks housing that is: Fixed (stationary, permanent and not subject to change) Regular (Used on a regular, routine or consistent basis) Adequate (sufficient to meeting both the physical and phycological needs typically met within home environments) This definition includes, but is not limited to, children or youth who are: In shelters or transitional housing; Living in parks, public spaces, vehicles, abandoned buildings, or other places not meant for people to …

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