How to Donate Your Stimulus Check Locally

The Coconino County Democratic Party asks our members who can afford it, to donate their $1200 economic impact payment to those in our community who have been severely impacted during this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic. These include the homeless, the unemployed, the undocumented and the poorest residents of our community.

Donors to some of the charitable organizations listed below can also receive a tax rebate from the State of Arizona of up to $400 for individuals and $800 for couples on their 2019 return if they donate by April 15 or on next year’s tax return if they donate later.  In addition, Federal Taxpayers who don’t itemize can deduct up to $300 in charitable donations from their 2020 taxes, a new provision that is part of the Federal CARES Act.

Our PCs in Williams inform us that there is a great need in the Williams area, as the lack of tourist traffic is greatly affecting the town. Please consider donating to these organizations!

Coconino Democratic PCs Phyllis Schiller and Marilyn Weissman have put together the information on Northern Arizona organizations for us. Please consider donating to one or more of the organizations listed and described below.

Links for Flagstaff and Countywide Organizations

  • Catholic Charities of Northern Arizona        2101 N. 4th St. Flagstaff, AZ  86004  (There is a donation link on the Catholic Charities website but if you want the funds to stay local, send a check here.)

Also, Flagstaff Family Food Bank continues with Emergency Food Box distribution, open Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 1 pm, no-contact distribution. They are also doing home deliveries. Volunteers are needed but will need to do special training. Donate Here

Flagstaff Shelter Services has been had pressed due to the need for more space and isolation in light of COVID. Donate here.

Details:

United Way of Northern Arizona COVID-19 FUND

United Way established theCovid-19 fund last month to benefit organizations providing basic needs to those who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. They have already donated $50,000 to Flagstaff Food Bank and $30,000 to Flagstaff Shelter Services. They can award grants quickly to the organizations that need them the most, while streamlining the grant process and minimizing the red tape and administrative tasks often associated with grants.

Purpose of the Fund:

The COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations who provide basic need services to those who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. The fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible, as well as to assist people whose lives have been impacted in a way that has compromised their ability to meet their basic needs and support them in regaining safety and stability.

In the near-term, operating grants will fund organizations that provide basic needs to priority populations.

UWNA will administer grants in partnership with Community Investment Volunteers. Together we will proactively identify potential grant recipients, solicit guidance on potential recipients from community advisors, and recommend final awards. UWNA will use 100 percent of the donated funds to support organizations who are focused on providing assistance directly to individuals and families.

Who can receive help?

Organizations serving Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties who are focused on aiding individuals and families living in the communities impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The fund is NOT specific to its member agencies and can fund other non-profit agencies providing direct services to people impacted by the COVID-19 virus.  We serve Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties off the reservation, but within a crisis we are open to serving the reservations.

Catholic Charities of Northern Arizona

Thanks so much for the opportunity to provide additional info regarding our programs who are continuing to serve our communities most vulnerable during the COVID Crisis.  Any funds you were able to provide could be utilized to provide these necessary items to individuals and families in need, or if you preferred, we could have you purchase gift cards that we could distribute to families in smaller increments each month for the purchase of those items.  We do not typically provide money directly to clients, but rather purchase the items requested (within reason) for them to ensure good stewardship of donated funds. 

Here’s a breakdown of programs and potential needs:

  1. PATH Homeless Outreach – our folks are out in the community and surrounding areas (forests etc) to locate and identify folks who are experiencing homelessness and choosing to camp rather than go to shelter.  They are distributing life sustaining supplies (tents, tarps, sleeping bags, socks, underwear, hygiene kits, food, water, etc) as well as information on ongoing and new resources related to COVID.  They will transport client if necessary due to medical need.  The needs are all of the above items to help to keep them safely in their encampment (without need to roam around), the newest need is 5 gallon water jugs so we can deliver water in bulk – cheaper than water bottles and we can refill them weekly and bring out trash) and ensuring they have access to communications (trac phones/minute cards) for emergencies.
  2. Housing – We have a family shelter with 3 families (none currently have income), 3 jail re-entry shared living homes (all have little or no income as most were working in the hospitality industry).  They can access eviction prevention funds from the County (their rent is $325 each including rent and utilities) to assist while they have no income (we are not evicting anyway) but their needs are the things food stamps can’t buy…..toiletries, paper products, etc.  We provide these when we have them or could provide them with financial support.
  3. Permanent supportive housing – 75 units in town for folks where we pay the full amount of rent and utilities and they pay 30% of their income to us in rent (if they have income).  These folks will not be utilizing eviction prevention funds as if they do not have income we are not allowed to charge rent by contract.  They have the same needs as above….items that cannot be purchased with food stamps but are essential to daily living.
  4. In addition, we have 3 child welfare programs where we provide supportive services in  homes (now via telehealth) to families referred by Division of Child Safety for abuse or neglect issues.  Some kiddos have been removed but the majority are still in the home.  With lost or reduced income these families are struggling with the above (daily needs not met by food stamps) as well as support for ongoing family and education activities (games, books, puzzles, etc).

Coconino County Health and Human Services

Coconino County provides Rental and Utility payment assistance for income eligible community members. The demand will dwarf the resources available.  We are hoping that by working with our partner agencies by sharing information we can assist the greatest number possible without duplication.  Our rough estimates on our current funding is that we will be able to assist 250 individuals with a request from 900.  We are advocating with DES and ADOH for more additional dollars so we can continue to assist more individuals that have reached out to us for help.

Documentation showing need is required to receive funds. Some of the programs below do not require citizenship.

Funding Qualification Citizenship Requirement
APS 200% of FPL (federal poverty level) No
CSBG 125% FPL (150% FPL for individuals who are over age 60 or disabled) Yes
Emergency Assistance County 200% FPL No
County COVID-19 200% FPL No
County Rent Only 200% FPL No
LIHEAP 180% AMI but must have rent with utilities included all except for water. Yes
TANF 125% FPL must have a child under the age of 18 in the household Yes
Warm Spirts 200% FPL No
ADOH Rental 100% of Average Median Income for County Yes

Some questions answered: 

  1. Will federal funds have the same requirements attached to them? Yes, the only guidance we have received at this moment is that we can forgo signatures, we can accept emails and forgo original documents.  We are allowed to look forward instead of looking back at 30 days of income to have individuals to qualify for programs (This is a large change that allows individuals to qualify).
  2. Can Community Services accept donations into the rental assistance funds from private individuals?  Yes, as a Community Action Agency designation we are a qualifying charitable organization for tax purposes for donations.

GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for local undocumented and mixed-status families

El Pueblo de Flagstaff and the First Congregational Church of Flagstaff have worked together to set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for local undocumented and mixed-status families whose financial situation has been made more precarious by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic decline. Donations to this fund will help families pay their rent and utilities, buy groceries, and obtain medical care. Individuals in need will request funds through an online application, and grants will be dispersed as quickly as possible as contributions to the fund come in. 

Go Fund Me for Havasupai Tribe Relief Fund

The Havasupai Reservation is located in the bottom of the Grand Canyon and is the most remote reservation in the lower 48.  The village of Supai, where 426 of the 769 Havasupai Tribal Members live, is accessible only by foot, horseback, or helicopter.  An additional 25 Tribal Members live in the satellite community of Supai Camp, a historic and continuous settlement of the Havasupai People located within their aboriginal territory in what is now known as the Grand Canyon National Park.  Roughly 75 percent of the jobs on the Havasupai Reservation are tied to the tourism economy, and this economy is fragile with roughly 15 percent unemployment.  Roughly 15 percent of the community is elderly, and many are diabetic or asthmatic, and thus particularly vulnerable to Coronavirus.

Due to the rapid spread of Coronavirus and COVID-19 in the United States and Arizona, the Tribe has had to temporarily suspend tourism within the Reservation in order to protect Tribal Members from the spread of this pandemic.  Thus, the tourism revenues the Tribe relies upon to run its government, and its Tribal Members depend upon to feed their families and their animals, has been disrupted.  For example, the Tribe’s 60-day closure of the Reservation to tourism is expected to result in an estimated loss of 15 percent of the Tribe’s annual revenues.  Additionally, non-essential travel into and out of the Canyon has been suspended, including for Tribal Members.  However, there is only one small grocery mart in Supai.  The Tribe is bringing in bulk food supplies to its people for themselves and their animals, but additional help is needed, especially as the pandemic is projected to remain in full force for a number of months. 

Please consider making a donation to ensure that the Havasupai People and their animals have the food and the Personal Protection Equipment that they need to remain in their communities and be protected from exposure to the Coronavirus and COVID-19.  Prevention is paramount because the Tribe does not have a permanent doctor or nurse on the Reservation, and they do not have a single ventilator or hospital bed.  With such a small Tribe, the spread of this disease within the Canyon and Supai Camp could be devastating to the Tribal community and to the continued viability of the Havasupai People.  Any contribution will help and will be greatly appreciated by the Tribe and the Havasupai People.  I am the General Counsel to the Tribe and will ensure that these funds are deposited directly with the Tribe and are used for food, pet food, and PPE for the community during their COVID-19 response period.

Posted in Action Alerts, Latest News.