Resources for Yelm Residents & Community Members Impacted by COVID-19
2020 has been a stressful year. We will get through this year together, but while we are on the journey through these trying times it is normal to feel overwhelmed. If you are feeling stressed, angry, sad, numb, afraid, or just worn out, don’t try to manage these feelings alone. We are here for you, we are listening.
How do I access Washington Listens?
- If you're experiencing stress from COVID-19, call or text us today at 1-833-681-0211. Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Weekends, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Language access services are available and TTY can be accessed by dialing 7-1-1 or preferred method.
What is Washington listens?
- Washington Listens is a free, anonymous service for anyone in the state. Washington Listens provides support to people who feel sad, anxious, or stressed due to the events of this year including COVID-19 and wildfires. It is a partnership of several agencies from across the state to provide emotional and mental support to individuals and families during these trying times, and links to community resources. The program was created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and has since been expanded to support those affected by wildfires.
- Any Washington resident can access a support specialist who will listen and help you cope with the stress of 2020. They can provide information to local resources and additional support, based on your needs.
Yelm Community Relief Fund (NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICANTS)
The funds for this program are made available due to a partnership between TOGETHER!, youracu, JW Foster, Mayor of Yelm and Nicki Foster, in addition to other local donors. TOGETHER! will evaluate households based on mutually agreed upon eligibility criteria and determine funds based on that information. Funds can be used for expenses such as: rent and mortgage payments, water, electricity and garbage payments, childcare expenses and others. Please be prepared to show proof of your bills (invoices, past due statements, bills, etc).
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES, CHILDREN & STUDENTS
Utilities & Rent Assistance
- Do you have unpaid or partially unpaid rent since March 1, 2020? The Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties is offering the 2021 Rent Assistance (T-RAP), which is intended to prevent evictions by paying past due, current, due and future rent, targeting limited resources to those with the greatest needs while working to distribute the funds equitably. For more information please visit: https://www.erap-help.com/CACLMT. To schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (360) 438-1100 press 8 for Housing / press 2 for 2021 Rent Assistance
- Washington 211 offers free confidential community services and your one-stop connection to the local services you need, from utility assistance, food, housing, health, childcare, after school programs, elder care and crisis intervention. For more information please visit: https://search.wa211.org/
- The Washington State Department of Commerce has assembled resources for utility customers, which may be accessed here: commerce.wa.gov/utility-assistance/ or by calling 2-1-1. One program they are offering is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) makes energy assistance available to Washington residents through a network of community action agencies and local partners. For more information please visit: https://www.commerce.wa.gov/.../low-income-home-energy.../
- 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 11:30 am – 1 pm on Mondays for meal pick up. Evening meal pick ups are available at Yelm High School and Yelm Middle School on Mondays from 4:30 pm - 6 pm. 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.
- Fort Stevens Elementary - 16525 100th Way SE
- Lackamas Elementary - 16240 Bald Hill Rd SE
- McKenna Elementary - 35120 SR 507 S, McKenna
- Southworth Elementary - 13849 Yelm Hwy SE
- Ridgeline Middle School - 10605 Carter St SE
- Yelm High School – Tornado Alley Parent Drop Off Zone
- Dylan's Corner Store - 15201 Vail Rd 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.
Child Care Resources
- An extensive list of Child Care in Yelm can be found on Yelm Community School's website.
Parent & Student Resources
- 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.
- ‘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 Sierra at email@example.com. For more information and visit their website or see a specific resource guide here.
- 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
- Yelm Municipal Court is located in the Public Safety Building at 206 McKenzie Street. Contact the court at 360-458-3242. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Passport Processing Hours are: BY APPOINTMENT ONLY **NO EXCEPTIONS** Please call 360-458-3242 to make an appointment. We apologize for any inconvenience. Court related business is a priority so please expect delays. Please call 360-458-3242 for more information. The application form DS-11 may be downloaded here or picked up at the Yelm Municipal Court office.
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. You can also apply for assistance through the Yelm Community Relief Fund.
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.
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
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.
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.
The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner has resources and information available for consumers who have insurance related questions.
- Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner - COVID-19 Resources
Information from the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
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.
- Student Loan Deferment or Forbearance
Information from the Department of Education.
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:
- What Should I Do If I Can’t Pay My Credit Card Bills?
Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Debt Assistance: Find A Credit Counselor
A credit counselor may able to assist you with your debt problems. Contact one near you.
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:
- List of Housing Counseling Agencies in Washington
- If I Can’t Pay My Mortgage Loan, What Are My Options?
- The Employment Security Department has adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. If you are out of work, Washington State's Employment Security Department provides support services to individuals affected by COVID-19 in Washington: https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19
- COVID-19 resource list for impacted Washington businesses and workers
Information from the Governor’s office.
- Employment Security Department – Information for Workers Impacted by COVID-19
Resources and information from the Washington Employment Security Department.
- Protect Yourself Financially from the Coronavirus
Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Job Interrupted —A To-Do List for Tough Times
Information from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
- Financial Peace of Mind in the Age of Coronavirus
Information from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
- Avoiding Coronavirus Scams
Information from the Federal Trade Commission.
Last Updated: October 13, 2020