The third round of federal stimulus checks is rolling out
but un-housed individuals are struggling to access this much needed help.
House-less people can be eligible for the federal stimulus, but many don't have a way to file taxes or a way to receive the benefits so local nonprofit organization partners are bridging the gap.
The government uses tax information to see if someone
falls under the income threshold and then sends the check to the address on file.
"The hard part is bank, bank account, address. That's the complicated piece," managing partner of Better Business Financial Services, Branden Welshons, said. "The most recent rounds of stimulus obviously require that individual whose eligible to receive a stimulus have something filed with the government."
Local organizations like ECHO, CAPSLO, and United Way of San Luis Obispo County are helping people with filing.
"The government is figuring out how to do this, this is new,"
said ECHO outreach case manager Em Cone said. "Now, we're sort of having to go and sort of file taxes for the homeless here, which means we're giving out 10-40 forms. We're sitting down with folks, we're filling them out."
Untied Way of SLO County offers a free tax preparation program to help community members track their stimulus payments.
"Some of our folks still rely on the good old fashioned mail, you know with the check coming in the mail, and for any client, anyone who's been a client or is a current client at 40 Prado, they can put 40 Prado as their mailing address," Grace McIntosh, deputy director at CAPSLO, said.
People can also list the post office, a place of worship, or the home of a family member.
Outreach managers said house-less folks are spending the stimulus money in different ways.
"Some folks have used it for a deposit for a new place, some folks have used it to travel back to families, some folks have used it just to survive and all of that is valid," Cone said.
Even if someone files now, experts said some people could still be eligible to receive previous stimulus checks.