Letter to the editor: Difficulties with household support grants

Editor:

How hard should it be to get city COVID- relief household support grants?

For me, it seems very difficult. My journey started more than three years ago with following a link, but I either missed my response or never got one. The next year I applied again, and again I got no response, but a commenter suggested looking in my spam folder — guess what, there was just one email — not from the city. I chose not to follow up although I probably would still have met requirements. Last October, I applied again after seeing a flyer sent out by the city promoting the program. I did get a response, filled out additional information and did an e-sign but never heard from them. I reached out three times over two months with no meaningful response.
Well it is now January and no followup. Just checked the city website and it says the program has been suspended. How much effort did city employees need to give to receive help during COVID? That would be none, but I digress. I guess at this point there is no redress except a city official getting involved and asking how hard their proxies worked to make sure the people needing help received it.
I find this to be failure of government and their proxies to deliver proactive help in a timely manner to those in need. A more detailed version will be sent to council.
Jim Fairchild
Edmonds
  1. Mr. Fairchild,
    I was pleased to hear that you’ve connected with our program staff. I’m sure you’ll find them as dedicated and compassionate as I have in my time working with them. Often times applicants will need to provide additional information with their applications. This is critically important to ensure that we are able to prove eligibility, pass audits, and make sure that the funds are distributed according to policy. It can be a step more than some people expect but is important for the health and continuity of the program.
    For those reading the comments, this program provides support in the form of grants of up to $2500 to households meeting eligibility requirements. So far, we’ve had hundreds of families apply and receive funds to help them through hard times. Over $1.1m has been provided to Edmonds residents so far. We are happy to be able to continue this program into 2023. You can find out more at: https://www.edmondswa.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=16495016&pageId=18017545

    Todd Tatum
    Community Services and Economic Development Director
    City of Edmonds

    1. Update after months and 3 attempts to get questions answered about what would be acceptable documentation because I didn’t have exactly what was listed. Within about a hour of sending email to council I received contact from the city proxy. Funny how that works. My questions were answered and I submitted my documents yesterday.

      I would like to thank everyone that helped me get contact. Also a special thank you to the gal that helped me she treated me with kindness and professionalism in what must have been a stressful situation.

  2. Many of my neighbors applied for this grant and found it delightfully easy to apply, qualify and receive this money. It has been a great help!

    Todd Tatum makes a good point about providing the correct information in order to enable completion of the process by Kids in Transition. Talking with Paulina our contact, on several occasions I have been pleasantly rewarding.

    We are happy to learn of this additional opportunity to apply in 2023. Thank you City of Edmonds for your work and thank you so much Kids in Transition for your graciousness.

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