Volunteers Help Unsheltered Community File for Stimulus Benefit

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Setting up tables and pulling out laptops, a group of community organizations came together in Santa Rosa on Sunday to set up a one-stop shop where those experiencing homelessness in Santa Rosa could sign up to receive federal coronavirus stimulus checks.

Led by Sonoma County Acts of Kindness and the Squeaky Wheel Bicycle Coaltion, volunteers say they were able to successfully submit information for 46 individuals.

A small line formed at tables set up near the 3rd street freeway underpass as volunteers, wearing masks and gloves, used laptops to log onto an IRS site to provide the assistance.

The one-time federal stimulus check of $1200 is usually sent automatically to those who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and meet the income qualifications.  However those whose earnings fall under the normal income limits for filing a return can still qualify by going to an IRS non-filers portal and entering personal information, along with bank information if they have it.

The groups say that in addition to Sunday’s signups, they have helped 11 other currently homeless individuals complete the necessary online forms to qualify for the benefit.

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