I wanted to reach out with some new resources that have been made available and provide you all with an update on the emergency check program that was launched several days ago.
I know far too many of you are continuing to experience hurdles in getting your unemployment benefits, please know that my office will continue to do everything in our power to assist you during this time. Please email us at Rep.MaxineDexter@oregonlegislature.gov if you would benefit from our direct assistance. We will get back to you in as timely a manner as possible and are absolutely here to help.
Emergency Check Update
As many of you may know, the state began offering one-time, $500 checks for Oregonians who had yet to receive their complete unemployment benefits. Unfortunately the state has exhausted their funding and will no longer be able to offer the one-time payments.
I want to be very clear on this. I applaud this $500 payment concept. With that said, we should have never been put in the position of having to compensate people due to the state's failure to provide a common resource that we all pay into.
The computer issues facing OED have been known for years and I am incredibly disappointed in the fact that it took a public health crisis to shine the appropriate spotlight on this issue.
I will continue to push for more federal relief resources and increased accountability at the state level to ensure that all Oregonians get the relief they deserve, as quickly as possible.
OHA Grant Opportunity
OHA is seeking to award $45 million in funds from Oregon’s portion of the CARES Act to non-profit organizations statewide, including Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes and the Urban Indian Health Program.
The grants are intended to address the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Oregon's tribal communities and communities of color. This innovative program leverages federal funds to address social determinants of health and the systemic racism and other health and economic inequities tribal communities and communities of color experience, which have been compounded by COVID-19.
These grants can be used to help people address:
Health and economic disruptions.
Examples of this could include: Providing thermometers, personal protective items, wage relief, child care support, business consulting, and technology needs, to improve access to telehealth and distance learning.
Food insecurity and housing.
Examples of this could include: Providing food, shelter, transportation, home heating and cooling costs, and outdoor gear for situations of homelessness.
Safety and violence prevention.
Examples could include: Providing emergency motel vouchers for people experiencing child abuse or domestic violence, culturally and linguistically appropriate services that address domestic violence, and social life skills programs for parents to address stress, depression and the need to take care of their own well-being.
Interested organizations are invited to learn more about the grant program via two information sessions: August 21 from 11am-12pm and August 24 from 2-3pm. More information and an application are available here.
Stay in Touch!
The best way to stay informed and connect with my legislative work is through my Facebook page (State Representative Maxine Dexter), and my Twitter account (@RepDexterOR), and feel free to reach out to my office at Rep.MaxineDexter@OregonLegislature.gov.
Maxine Dexter, MD
Oregon State Representative Northwest Portland to Northeast Washington County
DO YOU NEED HELP PAYING RENT?
The Legislature allocated $8.4 million in March and an additional $35 million in May to help individuals who are struggling to pay rent due to the financial impact of COVID-19.
Additional funds were made available by the Federal CARES Act. Funds are distributed by local community action partners (CAP). You can learn more about eligibility and accessing these programs by calling 211 or visiting the following website to find the nearest CAP near you: www.caporegon.org/find-services/
A list of participating CAPs can be found bellow. You may be protected from eviction under legislation passed by the Oregon Legislature. An eviction moratorium is in effect until September 30th, 2020. Please call 2-1-1 for more information.
DO YOU NEED HELP PAYING UTILITIES?
Your local community action agency (CAP) may be able to help with state and federal resources. Please see: www.caporegon.org/find-services/
Many utility companies are waiving late fees, suspending disconnections, and making payment plans available to those in need due to COVID-19. Please see here for information about what your specific gas, electricity, internet, or telephone company may offer: https://www.oregon.gov/puc/Documents/OregonEnergyAssistance.pdf
DO YOU NEED HELP PAYING YOUR MORTGAGE?
The Oregon Legislature recently released $30 million in mortgage assistance. These funds are not yet available but will be accessible by mid-August. If you need or anticipate needing mortgage assistance, please sign up for the Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) list serve for news about the program. You can sign up for news releases by visiting the OHCS webpage at https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/about-us/Pages/news-updates.aspx and clicking “Sign up for E-News”. You can also contact OHCS at (503) 986-2000.
If you need additional assistance, please contact your lender if you have not already. State and Federal laws require assistance when unable to pay due to COVID-19. You may be eligible for foreclosure protection through September 30th under recent legislation passed by the Oregon Legislature.
NEED ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE?
Dial 2-1-1 for additional information about COVID-19 test sites, eviction and foreclosure prevention information, how to access free food services, and more.
My staff has also compiled this list of resources as well:
-Housing assistance: Community Action helps pay rent and help to get people in need of housing. (https://caowash.org)
-Housing assistance: Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter serves women in the community who are experiencing homelessness. (https://safes.salvationarmy.org)
-Housing assistance, utility assistance, food assistance: United Way of the Columbia-Willamette provides access to critical services like housing assistance and utility assistance and access to food. (https://www.unitedway-pdx.org)
-Food assistance, water bill assistance, and grants, utility assistance: Care To Share coordinates assistance to families and individuals who seek emergency food and other basic necessities. (http://www.caretosharehelp.org)
-Food assistance, housing assistance, utility assistance, disability assistance: Department of County Human Services ensures that everyone can reach their potential and contribute to communities. (https://multco.us/dchs)
Follow Representative Dexter on social media to stay connected!