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Millions of Americans are anticipating their federal government stimulus checks authorized by the CARES Act. Among those are young adults who are currently sheltering in place at The Crib, The Night Ministry's emergency shelter. Youth Outreach Team Case Manager, Michelle Thomas, is helping them sort out the situation.
"There have been a lot of misconceptions about eligibility," Thomas said. "Some guests at The Crib thought that they automatically didn't qualify for the check because they didn't pay taxes last year. But if you receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), which some do, then you should be receiving a check," she said.
Thomas has been guiding guests of The Crib through the process of checking their eligibility on the IRS website. An individual is ineligible if a parent or guardian claimed them as a dependent on their tax return. Thomas said that has been an issue for some guests, as many young adults experiencing homelessness don't have regular contact with family and aren't sure if they were claimed as dependents.
"We are trying to figure out if there is a way for the IRS to provide that information so that our clients can get some clarity around it," she said.
Those who are eligible can select to have a check mailed to them or have the funds sent electronically. Thomas said some guests are utilizing a virtual wallet program to receive their payment.
"It's made me realize how many people we serve at The Crib don't have a bank account," Thomas said, "which is just part of the larger challenge of money management."
"Some of the people who had already received their checks went through the funds within a week. So, I have been encouraging guests to make a plan around how they will spend and hopefully be able to save some of their stimulus payment," she said.