Relief fund serves those in need in Clallam, Jefferson counties

Rental assistance is by far the greatest need that has been served by the North Olympic Peninsula COVID-19 Relief Fund since generous donors began giving to it in March.

As of Wednesday, a total of $321,987 had been donated to the fund.

The Peninsula Daily News and Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP) converted the Peninsula Home Fund into the COVID-19 Relief Fund in March to create a way for neighbors to help each other through the economic repercussions of the response to the unique coronavirus pandemic.

A total of 380 households in Jefferson and Clallam counties had been served as of Wednesday, according to a report by OlyCAP, which disperses the funds.

They were given $161,272 in grants.

Of those 172 households received $120,089 in rental assistance grants to help them stay in their homes during the pandemic, according to the report.

Energy bill assistance, mortgages, prescriptions and lab expenses, and groceries as well as internet and other utility assistance comprised other categories of grants.

The majority of clients had been laid off work or their had hours cut, according to the report.

Many of those were applying for grants because they had not yet received unemployment benefits, said Audrey Morford, executive assistant at OlyCAP.

Economic hardship could be alleviated for some by the end of the month as the state unemployment office said it expects to resolve hold-ups in benefits for nearly 35,000 people by the end of this month.

Even so, the emergency is hardly over.

Although some restrictions in precautions have been lifted, the disease is still spreading. And two deadlines loom at the end of this month which could increase the need.

Federal stimulus checks of $600 per week are to end on July 31.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s ban on rental evictions ends Aug. 1.

Unless deadlines are extended, both will hit at the same time, and many are still out of work.

OlyCAP is ready, Morford said.

“We want people to continue to reach out for us,” she said Friday.

“We did reassess our guidelines and, as the need continues, are allowing for some people to receive a second round of funding.

“If they already have received a grant from the COVID-19 Relief Fund and their circumstance has not improved, they may qualify for a second chunk of money form the fund to help with essential needs,” she said.

All the money in the fund is from you who give out of your pockets to help your neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic.

There is no way to thank you enough. But at least we can let others know what you did.

Here is a list of the donations given to the COVID-19 Relief Fund during the past two weeks.

Name only

Dale Realph, Port Angeles. In memory of Lynne Realph.

Mahina and Stephen Hawley, Port Angeles.

Peggy Manspeaker, Port Ludlow.

Joseph G. Cammack, Port Angeles.

Pat Gilbert, Port Angeles. In memory of Michael and son TJ Mata.

A. Crawford, Sequim. In loving memory of Jay Crawford.

Lynn and Vic Bender, Sequim.

Ron Gill, Sequim.

Kimberly Barry, Port Townsend.

Elisabeth Hegyi, Port Angeles.

Neil Erickson, Port Townsend.

Fred W. Sullivan, Port Angeles.

Kay Garrison, Port Angeles. In honor of Dr. Will Garrison.

Patrick Plaster, Port Townsend. In memory of Duane Plaster.

Millie Lyon, Port Angeles. In memory of Bruce Edwards.

John Silver, Port Angeles. In honor of Lois Bellamy.

Bob and Edel Sokol, Port Townsend.

Veronica Heath, Port Ludlow. In honor of health care, stores, public service, animal and pet care, newspapers, to the invisible who serve, those who mask, and Drs. Locke and Unthank. Gratitude to All.

Jennifer Brodie, Sequim.

Anonymous

Sequim, $200.

Sequim, $200.

Port Townsend, $200.

Port Angeles, $150.

Port Angeles, $250.

Port Angeles, $2,000. In honor of Father Dennis Robb.

Port Angeles, $100.

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