Brian Coddington, Communications Director, City of Spokane, 509.625.6740
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 3:37 p.m.
As the Spokane community works to slow the spread of COVID-19, Project Share and U-Help, two important local programs supported by public donations that provide assistance with utility bills, have teamed up to assist community members facing hardship because of COVID-19.
The new partnership is designed to increase direct financial support for those who need it most during the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order that has led to widespread closures of businesses and schools. The programs are working to raise money to help those in need.
Here’s how you can help. Provide a donation in any amount over the next six weeks. For every dollar donated by the community to help people with their utility bills, the City of Spokane and Avista will each match it. That means for every $1 donated, $2 more will go to support their neighbors.
“I am so pleased to see our community come together to help our families pay for their utilities,” says Mayor Nadine Woodward. “At the City and Avista, we have suspended shut-offs, provided more flexibility for paying bills, and waived late fees. This new fund-raising campaign will add even more support.”
“The Council is committed to helping our families as we deal with COVID-19,” says Council Member Karen Stratton. “Assisting with basic services like utilities will help get our citizens through this time.”
“SNAP is proud to be partnering with the City of Spokane, Avista, and the Salvation Army on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Making sure our fellow neighbors are warm and have basic utilities is essential to helping our community stay healthy and strong,” says Julie Honekamp, CEO of SNAP, which manages Project Share.
“These are unprecedented days! We are seeing many new families seek assistance because the father and/or mother has been laid off from employment or have seen work hours reduced,” says Major Ken Perine of The Salvation Army of Spokane, which regularly distributes U-Help funding. “Please remember these families who are worried about the days, weeks and months that lie ahead, and donate what you can so our most vulnerable neighbors won’t fall behind. Your donation is a hand-up, not a hand-out, as its helping families get through a time of crisis.”
The partnership leverages the existing financial programs to assist eligible low-income customers—Project Share for electric and natural gas bills and U Help for City of Spokane utility bills for water, sewer and garbage.
Community members can donate starting today at spokaneutilityhelp.org. Those who need help can contact SNAP at 509.456.SNAP to request support.
More information on support that’s available for our community members and businesses can be found on the City’s web site.