Community Events & Announcements

Invest in Yourself

Hopelink is providing free online classes through the King County Library System’s Invest in Yourself program.

Technical assistance for minority and non-English speaking business owners

Non-English speaking and other multi-ethnic small business owners are closing at disproportionately higher rates due to COVID-19. Washington State Department of Commerce has partnered with 20 organizations across the state to provide targeted technical assistance to help with access to funding and other help.  Read more here>

The COVID-19 Crisis and Student Loans: A Webinar Event for Borrowers and Practitioners

The Center for Financial Security (CFS), in collaboration with the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Loan Debt (WCSD) and Ascendium Education Solutions, Inc., hosted a webinar entitled “The COVID19 Crisis and Student Loans: A Webinar Event for Borrowers and Practitioners” on June 9th. The webinar increased awareness about how COVID19 has impacted student loan borrowers and on the various types of COVID19-related relief available.

Watch the webinar here>

Q&A about Eviction Moratoriums for Tenants and Manuf./Mobile Homeowners

Do you have questions about Washington’s eviction moratorium (scheduled to end October 15) or the federal CDC moratorium and other changes affecting renters?

Join the Q&A webinar where NJP attorneys answer questions about rent and rent assistance, the eviction process, and other issues facing tenants during the COVID-19 crisis.  They also focus on manufactured/mobile homeowners who rent space in a manufactured/mobile home parks, but all tenants may learn more about their rights and where to get legal help.

Watch the webinar here>

Express Credit Union – It’s ELECTRIC! 

Express Credit Union wants their members to love them too. Check out their updates below to catch up on Express’ webinars, events, and electric vehicle news. Read more here>

EVs for Everyone

Check out this video courtesy of Plug in America, where you can listen to Marc Geller speak about buying a used EV. He’ll also take you on a virtual test drive in his Tesla! You can also watch Plug in America’s video about the Chevy Bolt by clicking here>

YWCA – Esperanza y Poder para tus Finanzas Personales

The YWCA will be offering their FREE series of Spanish-language financial education classes for victims/survivors of domestic violence this fall, October 12- December 18, 2020.  Classes will be every Wednesday from 6-8pm online through Googlemeet. 

Participants need access to a device with internet connectivity to participate. Class will be held from 6-8pm on Wednesdays, with other work at your own pace. They will be providing weekly participation incentives and technology supports. Please contact the YWCA with questions about class participation requirements! They also offer incentives to everyone who successfully completes the classes—up to $99! Plus they work with the BankOn Seattle/King County program and graduates may be eligible to receive an additional $100 from some participating banks if they chose to open an account.

During the ten weeks, they will cover:

  • Financial Abuse and Safety Planning
  • Setting and Meeting Financial Goals
  • Basic Banking / Checking Accounts
  • Budgeting Your Money and How to Save on a Limited Income
  • How to Get and Read your Credit Report
  • Improving Your Credit
  • Federal Income Taxes/EITC
  • Financial Aid, Employment and Small Business Assistance
  • Family Law and DV Protections
  • Immigration and DV
  • Housing Options and Your Rights as a Renter
  • And much, much more….

 To register, women should call Sofia at 206.637.6720 or email her at saustin@ywcaworks.org. Download their flyer here>

Money Mechanics

The YWCA’s Money Mechanics classes are more important than ever! The classes are offered ONLINE this fall—spread the word and reserve your spot today before it fills up! These are FREE, non-traditional, holistic financial education classes for anyone in the community who wants to work toward their own financial wellbeing.

This series offers financial workshops for anyone who feels like their finances could use a “tune-up,” especially anyone who is low-income, unemployed, currently or recently homeless, or tired of getting paid and just days later wondering, “just where did that money go?”

Interested?  Contact Constance at 206-336-6977 or cfrancis@ywcaworks.org  to register or with questions about class participation requirements!.  Download the flyer here>

Participants need access to a device with internet connectivity to participate. Class will be held from 12-2 on Wednesdays, with other work at your own pace. The YWCA will provide weekly participation incentives and technology support .  They also offer incentives to everyone who successfully completes the classes—up to $50!  Plus the YWCA works with the BankOn Seattle/King County program and graduates may be eligible to receive an additional $100 from some participating banks if they chose to open an account.

Classes run from September 28th to October 23rd, with Live Zoom sessions from 12-2 on Wednesdays with other work at your own pace.

Participants will get support while learning more about:

·       Unmasking the mysteries of credit
·       Debt management
·       Making your dollar stretch each month (budgeting!)
·       How to make banking work for you
·       Goal setting and your personal values
·       And much more!

YOUR NEXT JOB

Your Next Job is a service at the Seattle Public Library (SPL) that can help job seekers:

  1. Get started with unemployment
  2. Search​ for jobs
  3. Apply for jobs
  4. Learn new job skills

Through one-on-one appointments by phone, text, or online conferencing, SPL can help job seekers to be successful on career and educational pathways, including job seekers with little or no digital literacy skills and those with limited English proficiency.

To make a Your Next Job appointment for yourself or someone you are assisting, please call 206.386.4636, email ask@spl.org, or complete the intake form on their website.

MORE RESOURCES:

Your Next Job is offered in partnership with the King County Library System and the Seattle Jobs Initiative.

Tenant Services – Rent Smart 2020

Webinar Series (all dates are Wednesdays from 2 – 4 pm)

  • October 14 – Domestic Violence: Protections to break a lease without liability, making a report with a qualified 3rd party, orders of limited dissemination, deposits
  • October 28 – Violencia doméstica (Domestic Violence: Protections to break a lease without liability, making a report with a qualified 3rd party, orders of limited dissemination, deposits)
  • November 18 – General Tenant Information: Move-in Process, tenant screening, overcoming barriers to housing, how does your credit report affect move-in?
  • December 9 – Lease Terms: Términos de alquiler inteligente / arrendamiento (Rental Agreements, Illegal Actions of Landlords, Landlord Entries, Discrimination, Harassment, Lockouts)

Rent Smart is offered in partnership with Solid Ground’s Tenant Services Program and the King County Library System (KCLS).

Alternate Tax Options

Out of an abundance of caution and in alignment with recommendations from Public Health, United Way of King County Free Tax Prep Sites are temporarily closed until further notice due to the risks associated with COVID-19.

Given the extension of the filing deadline, United Way of King County is still committed to providing tax help to those in need. If you need help filing your taxes, you can still file for free.

  1. Self-filing. File your taxes online free with United Way’s filing tool at www.MyFreeTaxes.com.
  2. Virtual tax preparation. Get free tax preparation services virtually from your own home. In a partnership with Code for America, our local United Way Free Tax Preparation experts now can remotely prepare your tax return and file it electronically with your consent. Simply answer a few questions and submit your documents to a secured portal via GetYourRefund.org.  This service is available for individuals and households who earned less than $66,000 in 2019. This virtual tax service is now available for ITIN holders.

Learn more about two options available here>

For updates on when sites will be open again, please visit FreeTaxExperts.org

Protect yourself financially from the impact of the coronavirus

As we all try to navigate these uncertain times, the Financial Empowerment Network would like to share some guidance from the DFI, CFPB, FDIC, CFE Fund and the Bank On support they provide across the country to local coalitions.

The DFI (Washington State Department of Financial Institutions) has compiled a FAQ of questions from consumers and the DFI’s response.

The CFPB blog offers steps to help protect yourself or a loved one from the financial impact of the coronavirus.

For the latest updates, visit the CFPB’s Coronavirus landing page.

With many of us staying home to help flatten the coronavirus curve, online banking allows you to handle your finances from the comfort of home. The CFPB offers some tips for people who are new to online or mobile banking.

Importance of Banking Access During COVID-19: It has never been more critical to have a bank account. The CFE Fund offers a tip sheet that outlines the importance of a safe and affordable mainstream bank or credit union account for managing your money remotely, including to receive wages and government benefits securely through direct deposit and make payments remotely.

Open a safe banking account online to protect your money. Bank and credit union accounts, particularly those certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards, can support you to receive wages and government benefits safely and securely, using direct deposit. Bank On accounts is not subject to surprise fees – especially for an overdraft, insufficient funds, and inactivity.

– Many Bank On certified accounts can be opened online to ensure the account opening process is safe and seamless. Learn more here>
– You can find a list of participating Bank On Seattle-King County financial institutions. Learn more here>

Here is more from the FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams. Watch the video here> 

FDIC Video - The Safest Place for Your Money

NWCLC Webinar Series: How to survive the financial impacts of COVID-19

For many Washingtonians who were recently laid off, had hours reduced, or took unpaid leave, the financial implications of COVID-19 have been serious and immediate.

Northwest Consumer Law Center is here to help those financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 RESOURCES
Landlord/Tenant Law & COVID-19
An Update on Washington’s Eviction Moratorium and Options for Renters
Monday, March 30, 2020
Download the webinar at https://youtu.be/whClo28RoPU

Financially struggling due to the COVID-19 outbreak? Want to learn more about your rights as a tenant during these uncertain times? Join Northwest Consumer Law Center for an informative presentation by Board Member Brendan Donckers. This 20-minute presentation will be followed by a live question and answer session.

Your Mortgage & COVID-19
An Update on Foreclosure Moratoriums, Payment Deferrals, and More
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Download the webinar at https://youtu.be/DojvWYQQFxQ

Financially struggling due to the COVID-19 outbreak? Want to learn more about options for your mortgage payments? Join Northwest Consumer Law Center for an informative presentation by Board Member Melissa Huelsman. This 20-minute presentation will be followed by a live question and answer session.

Your Student Loans & COVID-19: Is Relief Available?
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Download the webinar at https://youtu.be/KZcTAKPtQ_M

Trying to make sense of what options are available to manage your student loans? Join Northwest Consumer Law Center for an informative presentation by Board Member Christina Henry. This 20-minute presentation will be followed by a live question and answer session.

Managing Consumer Debt Amid COVID-19
Credit Cards, Medical Bills, and Debt Collectors
Thursday, April 2, 2020
Download the webinar at https://youtu.be/XpzJYklHqn0

Struggling financially due to the COVID-19 outbreak? Not sure which bills to pay first? Want to learn more about how to protect your consumer rights? Join Northwest Consumer Law Center for an informative presentation by Board Member Sam Leonard. This 20-minute presentation will be followed by a live question and answer session

Bankruptcy & COVID-19
Should I File? And Other Considerations During A Financial Crisis
Friday, April 3, 2020
Download the webinar at https://youtu.be/iOKYj7QXEy8

Struggling to repay debt and considering bankruptcy? Join Northwest Consumer Law Center for an informative presentation by Executive Director Amanda Martin. This 20-minute presentation will be followed by a live question and answer session.

Seattle Area Food Resources

View the Live Map at https://public.tableau.com/profile/city.of.seattle.human.services#!/

Free Vegetarian Food Truck

Northwest SHARE continues with the expanded schedule of their Free Vegetarian Food Truck, generously handing out free food, four times a week. You can find them in the UHeight parking lot, giving out free meals (while observing social distancing rules) on Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 to 8 pm, on Saturdays from 5:30 to 8 pm, and on Sundays from 12 to 2 pm.

Emergency Childcare

With school closures now being extended through the end of the school year, the need for childcare becomes essential.  Immediate childcare for workers on the front line of COVID response in healthcare, first response, grocery, delivery, and other high-need sectors is available through the partnering efforts of University Temple Children’s School – UTCS and UHeights.  Read more about this effort in a UW Daily article.

Spread the word by sharing this preliminary intake form with parents you know who are looking for childcare.  Download the form at https://forms.gle/xdFuKqXojMbHdZ6H9.  Contact Mason Wiley, with questions at 206-527-4278 ext. 806.

Northwest Access Fund Resilience Loans

Many individuals in our region have lost income or employment as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Northwest Access Fund wants to let you know about a new loan product they have launched that is available to those who have been impacted. The loan is available to people with a disability of any type and people who live in a household with a person with a disability.

Loan Amount: Up to $3,000
Loan Term: Up to 3 years
Interest Rate: 0% with no fees

Resilience Loans can be used to cover basic necessities such as rent, utilities, childcare, food security, and/or caregiving, and there will be no repayments due for the first three months. Some income limits apply, and all applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Learn more>

Planning for Higher Education for Families

The non-profit organization CENTS is pleased to announce the creation of Planning for Higher Education for Families, a free Workbook and Resource Guide to help families plan for their student’s higher education. This project, funded by the Washington Student Achieve Council (WSAC) and Washington 529 Plans (WA529), is the culmination of teamwork between CENTS, WSAC, and WA529.  Planning for Higher Education for Families will help families come up with a plan to save money for higher education and/or cut down on the cost of higher learning.  The project can be found at https://centsprogram.org/planning-for-higher-education-for-families/.