Wide-Ranging Impacts Felt by our Community
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, began to affect humans in November 2019. The first case in the United States was confirmed in January 2020. Governor Inslee announced the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order” on Monday, March 23rd, 2020, and before then, many businesses in Spokane were already shutting down or making changes to their operations. In the past few weeks, our lives and the structures around us have changed rapidly.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a wide variety of unknowns to every individual in our community. Each of us is experiencing increased stress due to these unknowns. Most, if not all of us are wondering, will I or my family members get sick and, if so, how severe will the sickness be. Additionally, most, if not all of us are also wondering, for how long will this continue to impact the daily lives of myself and my family. Many in our communities are also wondering, how will I pay my bills now, what can I do now that I am out of work, and how can I support myself and my children during this time.
This pandemic is impacting all of us. Individuals with fewer resources and personal supports may not feel that they have a safety net to rely on amid all of the challenges and barriers presenting in their lives. Continuing to practice social distancing and follow the developing recommendations and mandates from our governmental leaders and public health officials is critically important at this time. Empowering yourself with an understanding of the types of support and assistance programs available for yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and the most marginalized members of our community is another impactful action you can take right now.
Supportive Services Available
The Fig Tree produced a wonderful, comprehensive list of community resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic, which you can access in pdf format.
The Employment Security Department has resources for individuals who are missing work due to illness, limited hours, or temporary layoffs.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange has opened a special enrollment period, running until April 8th, 2020, to assist those who are currently uninsured in gaining access to health insurance.
For all information related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Washington, health care services and resources available, and government actions, the state has developed a centralized information portal.
For those worried about paying their bills, it is important to note that the governor and the state legislature have adopted a thirty-day ban on evictions, and have encouraged utilities to suspend shut-offs and be flexible in working with customers who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, our CEO, Regina Malveaux, has been reminding YWCA staff of this quote from Grace Lee Boggs, “The only way to survive is taking care of one another”.
If you or someone you know is impacted by intimate partner domestic violence, know that confidential advocates are always available through our 24hr helpline services by calling 509-326-2255, emailing email@example.com, or texting 509-220-3725.
To learn more about accessing additional services through YWCA Spokane during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit ywcaspokane.org/services. Thank you!