District Resources: We Are Here to Help!
There is still time to be counted! The census has officially been extended so if you have not filled out the questionnaire already, please visit https://2020census.gov to respond today!
As you know, the census helps our government decide everything from how many seats we receive in Congress to how billions of dollars flow to our community for schools, law enforcement, and other important services. Your response matters, and I encourage everyone to participate online, by phone, or by mail.
“Economic Impact” or “Stimulus” Payment distributions have begun. In many cases, these payments are automatic if you filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes or receive Supplemental Security Income. If you did not file taxes in 2018 and 2019, you may be eligible for an additional $500 payment. Those who qualify are receiving Veterans Affairs or Social Security benefits and have a child under 17. You must submit a non-filer form prior to May 5th, so visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) online portal for more information. To check the status of your payment visit the IRS website for more information.
In addition to the census and stimulus checks, I want to bring to your attention a few more resources available to you on topics such as Domestic Violence,Child Care, and how our district office staff can help with everything from Unemployment Insurance to assistance with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES DURING THE SHELTER IN PLACE
The statewide stay at home order could mean an increase in domestic violence. While we are staying home to save lives, abusers may be putting others in danger due to feeling the stress of unemployment, food insecurity, and financial pressures. If you are unsure of what to do or want to talk to someone, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-787-3224) or call a local resource listed below. If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911.
Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear browser history. If you are concerned about being tracked, we encourage you to call one of the numbers listed below.
Kings County Action Organization's 24 Hour Crisis Hotline
Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Elder Abuse and Human Trafficking
Kern County Alliance Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault
24-hour toll-free crisis number (800) 273-7713
Central California Family Crisis Center
24 hour Confidential Hotline 559-784-0192
Child care is essential to working families. In particular, low income and working families must have a safe place for children to be while parents are performing critical duties. Agricultural workers, health professionals, law enforcement, and other essential employees rely on child care to perform their essential duties. Below are a few references and referrals to help you navigate this difficult situation:
The California Department of Social Services (DSS): to keep parents and caregivers informed, CDSS created a webpage of resources and notices that can be used to understand new COVID-19 regulations. They also have helpful resources like ready to post flyers or infographics on COVID-19 related issues.
Executive Order N-45-20: Governor Gavin Newson recently announced prioritizing child care for essential workers. This new guidance gives the California Department of Education and California Department of Social Services the ability to waive administrative requirements that prevent child care programs from serving children of essential infrastructure workers.
Congressional COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package - Congress recently voted on an economic stimulus package that helps explicitly children, Childcare workers, and early childhood development. To name a few highlights:
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) - The CCCDBG program was augmented by $3.5 Billion to assist providers with pandemic related payroll expenses.
Head Start Program - Included in the stimulus is $750 million to help Stabilize Child Care, Nutrition, Housing, and Other Services Critical for national Head Start programs.
Public Housing Operating Fund - $685 million has been allocated to the Public Housing Operating Fund, for activities to support education and child care for impacted families.
WE ARE STILL OPEN AND HERE TO HELP!
Remember that the government is NOT closed. The State Capitol building is closed, but my staff is working harder than ever. During this difficult time, please rely on us for assistance with local resources or state-related matters. A few examples of things we can assist with are foreclosure programs, Medi-cal/Covered CA, State Taxes, income support/assistance, food/nutrition support, and unemployment insurance. Call or visit a office in your community:
Fresno District Office:
2550 Mariposa Mall, Suite 2016
Fresno, CA 93721
Phone: (559) 264-3070
Bakersfield District Office:
1201 E. California Avenue, Suite A
Bakersfield, CA 93307
Phone: (661) 395-2620
Hanford District Office:
611 N. Douty Street
Hanford, CA 93230
Phone: (559) 585-7161
LET’S STAY CONNECTED
During this time, we will be providing regular updates to the COVID-19 situation through newsletters, social media, and on my website. For more current information, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Over the last week, we have provided real-time updates on issues such as Pandemic Unemployment Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Economic Impact Payments.
Thank you for taking the time to sign up for these newsletters.
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Your State Senator,
Melissa Hurtado - SD14