Alaska nonprofits supporting those who have not received federal COVID-19 relief
Alaskans lined up at banks on Thursday to withdraw or deposit their $1,200 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
"This will go towards paying all of my bills,” Jeremy Hooyer said as he withdrew cash from an ATM in Anchorage. “I have student loans, I have credit card debt that I'm going to put it towards. It does help out."
Hooyer says he’s been lucky to keep his job through the COVID-19 pandemic, but he knows many who have not been so fortunate.
“I plan to give back what I can to local businesses and restaurants that have been devastated by this pandemic,” Hooyer said.
Thousands of Alaskans have become unemployed in the wake of COVID-19, and some have not yet received their share of the CARES economic relief package.
In the interim people like Sheldon Burse, who lost his job as a head cook on Alaska’s North Slope, are having to access other means of financial support.
Burse picked up a $1,000 check from Lutheran Social Services (LSS) in Anchorage on Thursday. The donation was made possible through a statewide fundraising effort called “AK Can Do”, spearheaded by United Way of Anchorage and the Alaska Community Foundation to offer housing and utility payment assistance.
“This is good levity. God bless Lutheran Services,” Burse said, standing next to his young daughter Aniya. “I'm able to pay my rent so we won't be homeless.”
Burse says while he’s thankful for the temporary relief, simply being able to pay rent isn’t enough. He will have to return to LSS for further assistance, but even that relief source is running low.
Vice President of Development and Communications for the Alaska Community Foundation Elizabeth Miller says donations have poured in for “AK Can Do”, but they still haven’t met the need.
“We’ve raised about $600,000, and had over $4 million requested by services across the state,” Miller said. “There’s still a long road ahead in getting people the help they need.”
to donate to the “AK Can Do” fundraising effort.
Alaskans in need of assistance can dial 2-1-1 to be connected to resources like Lutheran Social Services. Click
to check the status of CARES relief payments.