Seattle Relief Fund to provide $16M for people most affected by pandemic

The newly-announced Seattle Relief Fund provides $16 million with the aim of supporting low-income residents hit hardest by the pandemic.

The city will give one-time direct cash payments between $1,000 and $3,000 to families, young residents, artists and culture workers disproportionately affected by the ongoing COVID pandemic. This includes households unable to access state unemployment, had no health insurance, did not get federal stimulus checks, faced housing instability or suffered a mental health crisis.

Funds are available for all Seattle residents regardless of citizenship or immigration status, but applicants must be 18 years or older, have incomes under 50% of Seattle's area median income—below $40,500 for a person or $57,850 for a family of four—and have at least one of the following apply to them:

  • Live within the City of Seattle
  • Are enrolled in the Seattle Promise program
  • Are enrolled in Seattle Public Schools
  • Are an artist or cultural worker who has owned or rented an art studio or rehearsal space in the city at any time since March 2020

"As the first U.S. city to be significantly impacted by COVID-19, Seattle has been a leader to rise to address both the public health and economic challenges of this pandemic. We were the first city to quickly respond to directly support our residents and small businesses with grants, innovative new programs like grocery vouchers and rental assistance, and direct cash assistance," said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. "Because of our federal funds, we can continue to help vulnerable residents, especially immigrants and BIPOC families who continue to be disproportionately impacted by this ongoing pandemic." 

The city says this fund builds on a previous $6.5 million provided to low-income immigrants and community-based organizations.

Applications open Monday and will close Nov. 15 at 11:59 p.m. To apply, visit the Seattle Relief Fund website.

KEEP READING: US unemployment claims fall to 290,000, a new pandemic low

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