Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic impact checks, colloquially known as stimulus checks, are beginning to appear in millions of American’s bank accounts. Under the act, most taxpayers will receive a $1,200 one-time payment from the federal government. Some Americans will receive more, others nothing at all.
As the Internal Revenue Service sends stimulus checks out via direct deposit and snail mail, the #ShareMyCheck campaign is also gaining momentum.
The movement asks financially stable individuals who have retained employment during the COVID-19 pandemic to donate or redistribute their stimulus check.
There are a variety of ways to do so in Lake County.
Over the last month, local nonprofits and government agencies have worked to streamline financial relief efforts. There are now two primary paths to seeking financial assistance in Lake County.
Households affected by COVID-19 that are eligible for public benefits are referred to the Lake County Department of Human Services (LCDHS) to apply for federal programs like Disaster Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (DTANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Households that are ineligible for public benefits are referred to the Lake County Unmet Needs Committee. The multi-agency vetting committee, which was formed to respond to COVID-19, distributes relief funds from the Lake County Community Fund (LCCF), Full Circle of Lake County and Lake County Build a Generation (LCBAG).
The committee meets weekly to review households’ unmet needs and release funds. The group includes representative from LCDHS, Lake County Public Health Agency, Lake County Office of Emergency Management, Full Circle and LCBAG.
“We are each focusing on an area of financial relief and funds are being distributed collaboratively,” LBAG Executive Director Katie Baldassar explained.
For example, though Full Circle and Build a Generation are both directing 100% of donations to community relief efforts, Full Circle is focused on utility assistance while LCBAG is focused on housing assistance. Housing assistance, Baldassar said, is currently the community’s greatest unmet need.
In the last month, the committee and LCDHS have distributed over $40,000 to households in need, impacting over 50 families and 160 community members.
“We are truly coordinating to meet families’ needs, while also fully leveraging the different fundraising capacities of local organizations to bring in the most money for our community members,” Full Circle Executive Director Stephanie Cole added.
St. George Community Meals and Cloud City Conservation Center, though not part of the Unmet Needs Committee, are donating 100% of donations to food relief and healthy food access across Lake County.
Individuals interested in donating their stimulus check to local relief efforts should visit the websites of Lake County’s nonprofits for more information.
“The goal has been to create a ‘no wrong door’ system for community members as they seek assistance,” LCCF Executive Director John McMurtry said of local COVID-19 relief efforts.