Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today pressed the Trump Administration to ensure that people experiencing homelessness in Oregon and nationwide receive access to coronavirus relief payments.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Wyden joined with 27 colleagues to point out the steep obstacles faced by people experiencing homelessness when trying to have access to the direct stimulus payments in the latest COVID-19 relief package.
“[P]eople experiencing homelessness face unique barriers to receiving the payments they are entitled to under the law,” the senators wrote. “Many have no bank account in which they could receive a direct deposit, and no fixed address to receive a check in the mail – and if they do receive a check, fees at check cashing institutions are often exorbitantly high.
“[They] are among those most in need of the economic relief payments, but also are among the groups of individuals facing the biggest impediments to accessing those funds,” the senators wrote.
The senators also asked Mnuchin to publish guidance stating that Americans without a permanent address or bank account are not precluded from relief payments. And they asked the Treasury Department to publish specific procedures to help those without a bank account, government-issued identification, or a permanent address get access to their payments.
Finally, the senators urged Mnuchin to conduct a public awareness campaign aimed at identifying Americans experiencing homelessness and helping them get their payments.
In addition to Wyden, others signing the letter led by U.S. Sens. Tina Smith (D-MN) include U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), Michael F. Bennett (D-Colo.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Robert P. Casey, Jr., (D-Pa.), and Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.).
The entire letter is here.
A web version of this release is here.