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Downtown Phoenix organization works to connect homeless with stimulus checks

Stimulus Checks
Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 09:34:06-04

PHOENIX — If you have no income, you're not required to file taxes. And if you don't file taxes, it's been tough to get a stimulus payment.

If you also have no bank account and no place to call home, it would seem nearly impossible to get that money.

But some are getting their stimulus thanks to Human Services Campus.

The non-profit organization is one of several similar organizations housed between downtown Phoenix and the state capitol, where many people are living on the street.

Each plays a role in helping these people with their daily needs.

For 15 years, Human Services Campus has offered them an address.

It's a unique partnership with the US Postal Service; a mailroom where people with no home can receive important documents.

"We believe it's the only one exactly like this in the United States," says Human Services Campus Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender.

Social Security, unemployment and health insurance correspondence are commonly picked up by people who've signed up and get a picture ID.

The mailroom can be listed as an address on applications for housing or jobs.

"People being able to use this address to receive mail is critical to take all of those steps to removing yourself out of homelessness," Schwabenlender says.

And in the past year, the address has been used for stimulus checks, hundreds of them being picked up there.

Schwabenlender says many of the people have never filed taxes, which is a crucial part of getting that money.

So, her organization and others have helped with necessary paperwork, making sure the funds were on their way.

"You can fill out a tax form and say you had zero income and put that through the process to get the payment," she says.

Schwabenlender knows there are a lot of others who just don't know about Human Services Campus.

They are people who may qualify for the stimulus money but are too busy just getting through another day.

"It's not top of mind. Survival is top of mind more than how do I get this check," she says.

For anyone who qualifies and didn't get stimulus money, you still get it.

You must file your taxes to be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.

The extended deadline to file is now May 17th.

Click here to learn more about Human Services Campus.