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With rate jobless rate increasing and another blow on the way with Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest round of Stay Safe-Stay Home regulations, people are getting hit from all sides right before the holiday season.

As of noon, on Wednesday, all restaurants are closed to indoor dining and will resort back to to-go delivery/curbside service and drive-thru. Outdoor dining is still on the menu, but local eateries are letting wait staff and bar staff go, meaning more people trying to make ends meet during the pandemic.


According to the Seattle Times, Washington led the nation in new unemployment claims last week, and while that may be just a seasonal fluke, economists say the state could be headed for another wave of pandemic-related job losses. It could very well be the beginning of a second major wave of layoffs to rival what was seen in March and April.

The HopeSource Low Income Energy Assistance Program has a little hope on the horizon for eligible applicants. The city of Ellensburg has a rate discount program for HopeSource qualified customers.

“With the latest restrictions on businesses, as a result of the anticipated rise in COVID cases, more people than ever will be impacted. None more so than the working class,” HopeSource CEO Susan Grindle said. “They will battle unemployment or under-employment, coupled with rising energy bills, rent that demands as much as 50 percent of the household income, medical bills, and food shortages.”


Grindle said, HopeSource has utilized each stimulus from the government to pass along to struggling families to help with rent, utility payments, employment coaching, access to food, free transportation and other emergency services.

“We believe hope changes everything and HopeSource strives to help our community face adversity with hope and tangible resources,” she said.

Eligible households can receive one Low Income Energy Assistance Program award per program year, which began Oct. 1, with awards ranging from $100-$1,000. Net monthly income is determined by program policies, Grindle said.

“Families have looked toward to the joy that holidays can bring as a relief to this trying year will be disappointed in not being able to gather with loved ones and not being able to give gifts to those they treasure,” she said.


A new round of funding will include assistance for childcare and mortgage payments is set to become available in the next few months. The best way to apply for assistance is at using the Get Help button.

An intake specialist on staff will then work with the client to find what programs are a best fit for them and their family and get them in touch with any other local programs like FISH and Central Washington Disability Resources.


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