Stimulus checks needed as people continue to face challenges during pandemic

Posted at 9:24 AM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 11:24:08-05

Congress finally reached an agreement on a second relief package to help people who have been struggling all over the country and in Montana.

Bozeman is a very unique place. It offers things that you probably wouldn’t find anywhere else in this world. But as unique and beautiful as it is, there are still families struggling to live here especially from the effects of this pandemic.

“I think the pandemic just showed the struggles that are already here. There are so many families that are living one bill away from crisis,” said CJ Moll with Love Inc, a nonprofit organization in Bozeman.

Monday, Congress approved a new COVID-19 relief package giving many Americans a $600 stimulus check.

“There absolutely is an urgent need for it. Six hundred dollars is absolutely critical for some many families and individuals right now to get through… but it’s really not enough from what we’re seeing,” explained Danica Jamison, the CEO of United Way.

Monday, I was able to do a story about Bozeman’s current job market, and I received numerous emails that the problem isn’t the job market. There’s other factors when it comes to making ends meet.

“There are a lot of jobs available, so I think the assumption is because there are a lot of jobs available that people aren’t struggling but the reality is the cost of living is really high and most of those jobs are those entry-level or retailer service industry and they just don’t pay a living wage for Bozeman, and I think that’s a harder pill to swallow,” explained Shari Eslinger, the Housing Director with HRDC.

When it comes to talking about challenges residents may be facing, there may be several hard pills to swallow.

“Folks might have a picture of what homelessness looks like, and they just don’t fit that mold or you don’t recognize that the kid that’s sitting next to yours in math class is experiencing homelessness because they’re trying to not look homeless,” Eslinger said.

Just as joyous and merry as the holidays can be for some families, it can be just as challenging and even sad for others. But there’s always a way to help out.

An easy way to help out here in Gallatin County is by donating to the COVID Recovery and Community Resilience Fund created by the Greater Gallatin United Way and the One Valley Community Foundation. You can text C19FUND to 41-444 or visit here.

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