Resources for Yelm Residents & Community Members Impacted by COVID-19

 

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has developed a list of financial resources for Washington consumers impacted by the Coronavirus. We will add to this list as more resources become available.

Last Updated: April 22, 2020

RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES, CHILDREN & STUDENTS

Child Care Resources

  • Mill Pond Elementary will be the host site for child care for ages 5-12, thanks to a partnership of Yelm Community Schools and Y-Care through the YMCA, Services will be provided Monday-Friday, beginning March 23 from 8:00am - 5:30pm. Please register online for child care services. Health Care and First Responders will identify employment on the application to qualify for free child care.

  • Boys & Girls Club is offering all-day camp, until they reach capacity, to current members for a fee of $70 per week per child. Scholarships are available for those who qualify. Registration will be first come first serve, the capacity is 30 school aged youth. More information at: https://www.ycs.wednet.edu/Domain/1031

Food Resources

  • Thanks to Yelm Community Schools, all children ages 18 and under can access Grab n’ Go breakfast and lunch meals starting March 18. The following locations will be open from 11am – 12:30pm for meal pick up. Buses will be located at each location for drive by pick up. Your child must be present to receive the meal. No identification is required, and the child does not have to be a Yelm student. Meals will only be served Monday through Friday. During Spring Break, no meals will be served. https://www.ycs.wednet.edu/Domain/1031
    • Fort Stevens Elementary - 16525 100th Way SE
    • McKenna Elementary - 35120 SR 507 S, McKenna
    • Ridgeline Middle School - 10605 Carter St SE
    • Yelm High School – Tornado Alley Parent Drop Off Zone
    • Clearwood Front Gate - 21603 N Clear Lake Blvd SE
    • Clearwood Back Gate - 18900 Blue Hills DR SE
  • Emanuel Church will provide to go meals 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday

  • Yelm Prairie Christian Church will provide to go meals 6-7 p.m. Thursday.

  • Yelm Community Services Food Bank is open 1 to 3:45 p.m. on Thursdays. Community members are asked to stay outside of the building to adhere to the self-distancing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is available for anyone with an ID and lives within Yelm Community Schools Boundaries.

  • Crossroads Food & Clothing Bank is open 3-5 p.m. Saturday.
  • Rainier Emergency Food Center is open 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays.

At Home Resources for Students

  • Money Savvy Generation is sharing free activities for elementary, middle, and high school students that can be completed at home.
  • New customers will receive 60 days of free internet through Internet Essentials from Comcast.It is important to note that people who sign up for this free service MUST cancel at the end of the 60-day trial or else you will be billed.

  • Homeless Backpacks is a nonprofit organization who partners with Yelm community Schools to provide food and hygiene products for students who need assistance. For more information please visit their website here: https://homelessbackpacks.org/

  • ‘Thurston Together’ is a nonprofit that ensure that all young people are supported, healthy, safe and valued. The organization partners with Yelm Community Schools, Homeless Backpacks, and many other organizations to provide students with food, supplies, hygiene supplies and anything else a student needs. If your student is in need of services, get in touch with ‘Thurston Together’s’ School Coordinator Ari at arogers@thurstontogether.org for more information and visit their website at http://thurstontogether.org/, with a specific resource guide at:   http://thurstontogether.org/Portals/0/Resources/Family%20Resource%20Guide%20Final%20-%20Online.pdf  

  • United Way of Thurston Countyis accepting donations and will assist individuals and families who are the most severely impacted, including hourly wage earners, those without health insurance or access to sick days, households with children, seniors, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups. Funds dispersed: Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason & Thurston Counties.


CITY & COMMUNITY SERVICES
 

City Parks are Open

  • All City park s are open and we are advising everyone to play at their own risk because the city is not able to assure sanitation on the play features. We will not close down the parks as other cities have done,  but we want to help people make informed decisions.

Municipal Court Services

  • Following the Health Department Directive to promote social distancing, the Yelm Municipal Court is temporarily closed and Court proceedings suspended to the public through Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Please check back for further information at that time.
  • You can make your court fine payments by phone at 1-800-272-9829, select option #3 and follow the prompts or pay online at www.officialpayments.com you will need the jurisdiction code 8026 and your court case number.
  • Failure to Appear warrants will not be issued during the closure of the municipal court (March 19th and April 2nd court hearing dates).  If you need to contact our court office, staff is available by phone at 360-458-3242 or by email at court@yelmwa.gov

Passport Services

  • Passport Services are suspended at the City of Yelm. For status on other passport agencies and centers, please check travel.state.gov for the latest information.


Public Transit 

  • Starting Mon., 4/13, Intercity Transit will temporarily transition to an advance reservation system for essential trips including visits to the grocery store, pharmacy, medical appointments and transportation for essential employees. To make a reservation, call 360-786-1881 from 8 am - 5 pm, Mon–Fri, and 9 am & 4 pm weekends, or email requests to DALdispatch@intercitytransit.com. Reservations will be taken starting Wed., 4/ 8 and need to be made 2 - 5 days in advance. Transit service will be provided from 7 am - 9:30 pm.
Utilities


Although City Hall is closed for in-person payments, you can still pay your bills using our online resources or pay by phone at no additional cost. More information at: https://www.yelmwa.gov/live/pay_utility_bill_online/index.php

If you are struggling to pay your utility bills, contact your service provider right away. Many utility service providers offer emergency assistance programs. The City of Yelm will not shut off water service to customers during this emergency. If you have trouble paying your bill, please contact the city to discuss your options.

Additional Resources:


Yelm Community Services

TEMPORARY HOURS DURING COVID-19 CRISIS
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays:  12:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Tuesdays:   11 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Thursday:  Closed
Saturday:   9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

If you need to contact Yelm Community Services, please do so fax, or phone and leave a message.  
Telephone:  360.458.7000 (Vehicle Licensing and all Social Services)
Thrift Shop Telephone:  360.458.4230
Fax:  360.458.4226

SOME SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:

  • For Vehicle Licensing: Please renew your tabs on-line.  They are mailed out the same day as the order.  Please make sure you have the correct mailing address on your notice. Link to renew tabs: https://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/renewyourtabs.html For customers who ordered tabs to be picked up at the office:   All on-line payments received prior to March 25, 2020 were mailed out re customers who wanted to pick up their tabs from the office. If you need in-person assistance, here is a link to all sub-agents in Thurston County:  https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/auditor/Pages/licensing-subagents.aspx. Please call them before going to make sure they are open.
  • For the Food Bank:  The food bank will be open on Thursdays at 1:00, and will serve clients until 3:45 p.m.  Clients may not enter the building, and must wait in their vehicles. Staff will have carts of food already made up to give out to clients.  There will be not be the usual food bank sign-in procedures, to help to prevent the health issues. The staff will only ask the number of people in the family.  People who come can only pick up for their own family.  Please park in front of the food bank building, so that staff do not have to go far, as the staff are very busy with making up the bags, and the agency is short-staffed due to the health situation occurring.  Please patiently wait your turn, and please follow the instructions given out by the staff and volunteers.  Please do not park in the food bank loading zone.
  • For the Thrift Shop:  They will not be accepting any donations to the thrift shop, and the doors will be closed to the public.

For more contact or program information, please refer to their website www.yelmcommunityservices.com


FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Accessing Your Financial Institution

  • While the COVID-19 outbreak continues to increase, your local bank or credit union remains committed to providing you access to your accounts and loans. When possible, it is recommended that you do your transactions using Online or Mobile Banking, Phone Banking, Drive-Thru, or ATMs.
  • Many services may be available 24/7 on your financial institutions website or mobile app including: balance inquiries, transfers, loan payments, mobile check deposits, and transaction inquiries
  • Local banks and credit unions are posting information to their websites about the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit their website to find information about hours, member assistance, and current operations.

Avoiding Scams

Consumers should be on alert for increased fraud during the COVID-19 outbreak. Consumers should be vigilant about protecting their finances and should not share financial or other sensitive information with anyone who contacts you unsolicited.

Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

  • Your bank or credit union should not ask for you financial account details via email. If you receive an email, contact your bank or credit union with the contact information listed on their website.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

Department of Social & Health Services

Beginning Friday, April 17, some Washington residents can apply through the Department of Social and Health Services for emergency cash assistance to help meet their immediate needs. As a result of Governor Inslee’s emergency declaration in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has approved implementing the Disaster Cash Assistance Program, or DCAP, in Washington State. DSHS estimates more than 175,000 households may be eligible for this assistance. This cash assistance is available to Washington residents regardless of citizenship status, and does not require applicants to provide a Social Security number. Eligible households will receive their DCAP benefits for one month in a 12-month period during an emergency. The benefit amount depends on household size, income and need, ranging from a maximum of $363 for a single person to a maximum of $1,121 for a household of eight or more people. Once approved, people will receive their DCAP benefits on an existing Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, card or a new EBT card will be sent via U.S. Mail

People can apply for DCAP online at WashingtonConnection.org and then call the Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 to complete the required interview. People can also call 877-501-2233 to complete the entire application process over the phone. Due to much higher than normal call volumes, people are asked to call before 11 a.m. and to keep in mind that the busiest call times are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Insurance Issues

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner has resources and information available for consumers who have insurance related questions.


Puget Sound Energy  

Puget Sound Energy will make funds available to help customers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes customers who recently became unemployed, partially unemployed, or cannot work. 
Depending on average monthly usage, a qualified PSE customer:

  • Must have a monthly household income limit at 250% of Federal Poverty Level
  • Can receive up to $1,000 in PSE utility-bill credits per household

PSE continues to offer payment plans and allow customers to change bill’s due date for those who may need additional assistance. PSE will continue to offer its other assistance programs, including the Warm Home Fund, PSE Home Energy Lifeline Program and Weatherization Assistance Program for income-eligible customers.

How to apply:

  • A Customer, co-Customer on the PSE bill, or a customer care agent acting on a Customer’s behalf must first submit a complete and accurate application to the Company. Instructions on how to apply are available at www.pse.com. The application will include all of the following information: Proof or a self-declaration of unemployment or underemployment AND Photo ID with date of birth of the Customer.
  • The Customer will create and/or sign into their myPSE account either on www.pse.com or via the myPSE mobile app for smartphones or other mobile devices. They will then access the Energy Portal where they can apply through the CACAP agency portal link. All supporting documents can be either scanned or photographed to create a JPEG picture file which can be uploaded to the portal.

Direct website URL: www.pse.com/covidhelp

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is adjusting their operations and work in order to align with the Governor’s recent actions relative to the restarting of low risk construction activities.  While PSE continues to require all those that can work from home to do so, we are also working with the building community to support their activities.  PSE is reviewing project readiness including permits requirements and validity; and they are developing construction schedules.  As a result, PSE presence may begin to increase in your community soon.  PSE is also evaluating and scheduling priority PSE system related work and proactively planning for a slow ramping of activities as the Governor’s guidance evolves and of course, they will continue work to address your priorities.   

Short Term and Emergency Loans

  • Consider your options before taking out a high cost short term loan. Talk with your creditors to negotiate more time to pay bills, borrow from friends or family, or explore low interest loans offered by local banks and credit unions.

Student Loans Deferment

If you’re in a short-term financial bind, you may qualify for a deferment or a forbearance. With either of these options, you can temporarily suspend your payments.

Additional Resources:


Trouble Paying Rent

If you are unable to make your rent payment, contact your landlord immediately and try to work out an agreement.  If you are in need of rental assistance, you can also contact a housing counseling agency toll-free (800) 569-4287. They can help point you in the right direction.


Trouble Paying Credit Cards

If you have seen a reduction in pay due to COVID-19 and are struggling to make your credit card or loan payments, contact your lender right away. Explain your situation and ask about hardship programs that may be available. Regulatory agencies have encouraged financial institutions to work with customers impacted by the coronavirus. Credit card companies and lenders may be able to offer you a number of options to help you. This could include waiving certain fees like ATM, overpayments, and late fees, as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments. Additional Resources:


Trouble Paying Your Mortgage

If you do not have enough money in savings to cover your mortgage payment or rent because you have lost your job, contact your lender or landlord and apply for unemployment benefits immediately. Learn more at Employment Security Department – Information for Workers Impacted by COVID-19.

Don’t wait until you’re behind on payments. Lenders may work with you to waive late fees, set up a repayment plan or offer loan forbearance. If you do take out a short term loan, make sure the lender is licensed with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions and borrow only what you can afford to pay back. You can also contact the Washington Homeownership Hotline at 1.877.894.HOME for more information and assistance. Additional Resources:


Unemployment Help

Additional Resources