Updated: 12:15 a.m. May 27, 2020
En Español 

Need Help During COVID-19?

Community Action is fulfilling our mission during COVID-19. We’ve made many changes to keep clients, staff and community safe.

Community Action contacts and service changes: We are providing services, but all in-person services have been suspended at all locations until further notice. Our East County Resource Center is remaining open with limited walk-up services. We have added remote services options. There are many new services available for the first time to people of low-to-moderate income. See below for program-by-program updates. For more information, please call:

How We Can Help

Where do I start? I need to find out what types of help are available for me and/or my family. 

Resource Center & general services inquires, 360 416-7585: We are here for you by phone. Our Lobby is currently CLOSED and we are not able to offer any in-person assistance. The Resource Center hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. If the line is busy, please leave a voicemail and we will call you back.

The Resource Center is currently providing information, referral and coaching on what programs you MAY qualify for at Community Action, with other agencies, or new state and federal resources.

We are also providing  limited emergency vouchers, by PHONE ONLY for food, hygiene products OR gasoline.  For more information please call 360 416-7585 or email resourcecenter@communityactionskagit.org

  • Approved food/hygiene vouchers are accessible at the store the following day after 11am.  
  • Gas vouchers are accessible at the station approximately 1 hour after phone approval.
  • For all others, we are providing resource information as needed, connecting them to their case managers if they have one, or providing information on how to access services.

We are continuing to process “Check-Ins” for those currently on the Housing Interest Pool. Housing Intakes for the Coordinated Entry system for people experiencing homelessness are temporarily on hold.  

I’m currently in a Community Action housing program. What should I do?

Housing Services, 360 416-7585: Those receiving Housing Case Management should call their case manager instead of coming in for an appointment. Housing Case Managers can be reached by calling the main number 360-416-7585 and asking for a case manager by name.

I’m pregnant or have young children. What resources are available for me and my family?

WIC (Women, Infant & Children Program),  360-416-7595: WIC serves pregnant women, babies and children to age 5. The average WIC food benefit is around $100 per family. The Mount Vernon WIC office is providing all services by phone including appointments. For more information, call: 360 416-7595 or text 360 708-1804.

  • We are able to provide benefits to new clients. 
  • There is no Anacortes WIC office at this time, since Island Hospital needed the space. All Anacortes clients should call 360 416-7595 or text 360 708-1804. Appointments will be handled by phone.
  • Clients with new babies, please call for breastfeeding advice and support, or other needs.
  • WIC has received a grant to provide more assistance for diaper needs during this difficult time.

Diaper Resources in Skagit County:  WIC Programs are teaming with the Diaper Bank of Skagit County to assist with this need. Call a Skagit County WIC Program to find out about help with diapers.

 If transportation is a problem, deliveries are possible.

How do I get help paying my bills? 

Community Action’s Energy Assistance, 360-428-1011: Our Energy Assistance Program is now scheduling appointments daily instead of the first Wednesday of the month. Due to our staff working remotely there is only one person answering our Energy Assistance line. If you are having difficulty getting through the energy line, please email us  your name and phone number. A member from our Energy team will reach out to you to schedule an appointment.

If you already have an appointment scheduled, please do NOT come to the agency for scheduled appointments, but rather complete applications by phone at your scheduled appointment time.

If you are a Puget Sound Energy Customer:
You may schedule an appointment online by visiting www.pse.com/help and clicking “Get Started”. If you already have an appointment scheduled, please do NOT come to the agency for scheduled appointments, but rather complete applications by phone at your scheduled appointment time. 

If you are a Cascade Natural Gas Customer:
Great news for struggling families and individuals who have Cascade Natural Gas! Eligibility for low-income assistance has broadened to include households whose income is up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. That means a family of four could have earned $50,000 last year and qualify for $25 to $500 in assistance. The average help per household in Skagit County is $400-$500. Call 360 428-1011 to get help paying your energy bills through Community Action. 

Other ways to Apply for Energy Assistance:
If you are not a Puget Sound Energy customer or have no way of applying online please call 360 428-1011 or email energy@communityactionskagit.org to schedule your Energy Assistance appointment.

Puget Sound Energy has suspended disconnections during COVID-19. Learn more by visiting their website.

The Crisis Affected Customer Assistance Program was created to help customers who may be unemployed, partially unemployed, or cannot work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program allows customers to receive a one-time credit up to $1,000. The amount received is determined by your average monthly usage from March 2019 to August 2019.

For more information on this program visit the Puget Sound Energy website.

What kind of State and Federal Resources are available for people impacted by COVID-19?

Economic Impact Payment | Frequently Asked Questions
The IRS is issuing Economic Impact Payments to every eligible American:  

  • Eligible individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 will automatically receive the full $1,200 payment.
  • Eligible married couples filing a joint return with adjusted gross income up to $150,000 will automatically receive the full $2,400 payment. 
  • Parents also get $500 for each eligible child under 17

To find out more:  www.irs.gov/coronavirus.


Economic Impact Payment Prepaid VISA Debit Card
If you qualify for an Economic Impact Payment, the government might mail you your money on a prepaid VISA debit card issued by Meta Bank. Starting the week of May 18th, approximately 4 million eligible recipients of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) will receive an EIP Card in the mail. The EIP Card is a Treasury-sponsored, VISA-branded, prepaid debit card that provides a safe, convenient and secure way for EIP recipients to access their Economic Impact Payments without having to go to a bank or credit union to cash a check.

If you have questions about making the most of your money right now, please email RyanD@CommunityActionSkagit.org.

To help millions of people, the Treasury Department and the IRS launched a new web tool that enables rapid enrollment of financial impact payments for those who do not normally file a tax return.

How do I use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool?
For those who don’t normally file a tax return, the process is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete. First, visit IRS.gov, and look for “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.”

Then provide basic information including Social Security number, name, address, and dependents. The IRS will use this information to confirm eligibility and calculate and send an Economic Impact Payment. Using the tool to get your payment will not result in any taxes being owed. Entering bank or financial account information will allow the IRS to deposit your payment directly in your account. Otherwise, your payment will be mailed to you.

The “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info” tool is secure, and the information entered will be safe. The tool is based on Free File Fillable Forms, part of the Free File Alliance’s offerings of free products on IRS.gov.

Trouble paying rent, credit cards or other bills? Want to know about short term loans? Here are some great resources for people impacted by the Coronavirus:

If you have questions about making the most of your money right now, please email RyanD@CommunityActionSkagit.org.

Information from Employment Security Department on how to access sick leave benefits. 

I need legal help. What kind of help is available?

The Skagit Volunteer Lawyer Program, 1-888-201-1014 is now taking referrals. All legal services are currently limited to phone consultations. Any additional services will be at the discretion of the individual attorneys.

For assistance, please call the Northwest Justice Project’s CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral) toll-free at 1-888-201-1014. Because of limited staffing CLEAR staff can only answer phones between 9:15 am and 12:15 pm, Monday through Friday.  Start calling right at 9:15 a.m.! You might have to try several times over a couple of days before you get through to CLEAR staff.  

The Skagit Volunteer Program is a partnership with the Skagit Bar Association.

If you are over 60, you should contact CLEAR Senior. That toll-free number is 1-888-387-7111. CLEAR will first determine your income eligibility for assistance under program standards. You do not have to be low income to get advice from CLEAR Senior.  When you call CLEAR, you may be able to talk to an attorney over the phone who will link you with the best available free legal resource for your situation.

Governor Inslee’s Ban on Evictions: Governor Inslee has prohibited landlords from taking any of the following actions against tenants:

  •  Serving a tenant with a notice to pay rent or vacate their home, or
  • Serving a tenant with a notice to terminate their tenancy when they are a month-to month tenant, or
  • Filing an eviction lawsuit against a tenant for the nonpayment of rent.
  • If your landlord does any of those things and you need legal help, you can call:
  • You can also apply online at: https://nwjustice.org/get-legal-help

Food: I don’t have enough to eat. What are my options?

Basic Food Program, 1-877-501-2233
The Basic Food Program is a federal program that helps people with low incomes buy food at the grocery store. It is administered locally by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

Do I Qualify?
You may be eligible to receive Basic Food if you live in Washington State, you are a U.S. citizen or legally present in the U.S. and follow the income guidelines.

For more information or to apply:
•   Call: 1-877-501-2233
•   Apply Online: www.washingtonconnection.org
•   Visit: Mon-Fri, 8AM-5 PM, 900 E College Way, Mount Vernon WA
•   EBT Card Replacement: 1-888-328-9271


Emergency Supplements for Basic Food for May 2020

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, DSHS will continue to issue Emergency Supplements for Basic Food for May 2020, to bring the benefit level of all households up to the maximum allotment for their household size. The Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) permits states to continue issuing emergency supplements on a month to month basis, contingent upon request and approval from FNS.


Ways to Use Your EBT Card:

Order Groceries Online from Walmart or Amazon
The SNAP Online Purchase Pilot Program has expanded state-wide in Washington as of March 1. This means that SNAP shoppers are now able to make online purchases with their SNAP benefits at Walmart and Amazon. Only eligible food may be purchased with SNAP benefits; delivery fees and other associated charges may not be paid for with SNAP benefits. For a step by step guide on how to use these benefits click here

SNAP Market Match
The Washington State Department of Health is excited to announce the launch of SNAP Market Match! At more than 100 participating farmers markets and farm stands, shoppers who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/EBT benefits can receive extra dollars to buy fruits and vegetables.

How does SNAP Market Match work?

  • SNAP shoppers go to the farmers market information tent.
  • Shoppers buy SNAP-eligible foods with their SNAP/EBT card.
  • Shoppers get extra SNAP Market Match dollars to buy fruits and vegetables at the market.
  • Markets match $10 or more per day for SNAP customers. Check your local markets for their daily match amount. For a listing of all participating markets, visit www.doh.wa.gov/SNAPMarketMatch

The Concrete Community Center is providing take-out meals weekdays from 11:45-12:45 pm for seniors, non-school age children and low income individuals. Donations are encouraged, but not required for all adults participating in the meal program.  

Address: 45821 Railroad St, Concrete, WA 98237

The list of Skagit County Food Banks can be found here. Information is changing quickly and we will do our best to keep the website as up to date as possible.

Helping Hands Solution Center/Food Bank is currently delivering food to those who have no one who can pick up for them, especially the homebound, elderly, under medical quarantine or have a disability/medical condition.

Qualified individuals may be able to receive assistance from their temporary Mobile Food program. A box of food is delivered once a week to
those who are in need and meet qualifications. If you or someone you know would like to sign up or learn more about this program please call (360) 856-2211 by noon on Thursday.

Meals on Wheels is available to individuals meeting the criteria listed below. For more information, please call Skagit County Public Health at 360-416-1500.

  • Individual must be 60 years of age or older, AND
  • Individual must be home-bound and unable to prepare meals for themselves because of limited physical activity; physiological or mental impairment; or lack the knowledge or skills to select and prepare nourishing and well-balanced meals.

Skagit Gleaners is a membership based food assistance program that rescues products such as produce, baked goods, nonperishable foods, and housewares from retailers, restaurants, local farms, and individuals that otherwise would be discarded and end up in landfills. They also have a growing selection of clothing, shoes, books, and miscellaneous housewares available. 

Membership fee: $39.50 a month. Members are able to shop up to three times a week in the food market and unlimited amount of times for clothing, shoes, books, and housewares. There is also a volunteer commitment of 3.5 hours per month.

For more information call (360) 848-10450.

 The average WIC food benefit is around $100 per family. The Mount Vernon WIC office is providing all services by phone including appointments. For more information, call: 360 416-7595 or text 360 708-1804.

  • We are able to provide benefits to new clients. 
  • There is no Anacortes WIC office at this time, since Island Hospital needed the space. All Anacortes clients should call 360 416-7595 or text 360 708-1804. Appointments will be handled by phone.

I’m a veteran, or a veteran’s family. What help can I get?

Community Action’s Skagit Vets Connect, 360 416-7585: Skagit Vets Connect is currently providing limited services, by PHONE ONLY. Services include:

  • Veteran Affairs disability claims, healthcare enrollment and all other VA benefits inquiries. Please call 360 416-7585.
  • Veterans Assistance Fund: Eligible veterans may apply for emergency vouchers for food/hygiene products and gasoline.
    • Approved food/hygiene vouchers are accessible at the store the following day after 11AM.
    • Gas vouchers are accessible at the station approximately 1 hour after phone approval.
  • Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH): Please call 206 518-1593.
  • Eligible Veterans experiencing homelessness. Please call 360 416-7585.
  • Motel Voucher Program for Veterans: The 45 day limit on Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) COVID motel voucher stays has been suspended. If you are a veteran in need of shelter, please call our motel voucher line 360 899-6825.

I’m a low-income senior or person with a disability, or I know one. What help is available?

Senior & Disabled Services, 360 610-0809 For more information email robertm@communityactionskagit.org or dianea@communityactionskagit.org or call 360-610-0809.

What We Are Offering: 

  • Transportation to essential medical appointments (contingent to volunteer availability)
  • Pick-up and doorstep delivery of prepaid grocery and prescription orders
  • Firewood deliveries to qualifying seniors
  • Yardwork
  • Telephone Well-being Checks for seniors

Service Changes:

  • No Home Visits
  • No unessential medical transportation
  • No unnecessary direct contact
Skagit County Meals on Wheels, 360-416-1500: The Meals on Wheels program is available to individuals meeting the following criteria. For more information, please call Skagit County Public Health at 360-416-1500.
  • Individual must be 60 years of age or older, AND
  • Individual must be home-bound and unable to prepare meals for themselves because of limited physical activity; physiological or mental impairment; or lack the knowledge or skills to select and prepare nourishing and well-balanced meals.

Mount Vernon Manor, 360-428-1206: Those residing at the Mount Vernon Manor will need to communicate with Mary Laureano by phone only. She will be at the office taking calls on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8am – 2pm and can be reached at: 360-428-1206. When not at the office, Mary can be reached by cell for limited assistance on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at: 360-391-9815

  • The Food Bank at the Mount Vernon Manor is temporarily suspended. Individuals in need of food assistance can call Mary to discuss options.

I live in rural East Skagit County. What help is available near me?

Community Action’s East County Resource Center, 360 416-1733: The East County Resource Center is open and providing critical need services to individuals one person at a time. Critical need resources include: emergency food, personal hygiene items (limited to supply on hand), propane and gas vouchers. For more information contact the office.

Instead of our daily hot meal program, the Concrete Community Meal Program will offer take-out lunch services beginning Thursday, March 12. Active participants of the program may pick up a take-out lunch 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, from the main entrance located at 45821 Railroad Street, Concrete, WA 98237. Donations are encouraged, but not required for all adults participating in the meal program.

The following East County programs have been cancelled or modified until further notice:

  • AARP Tax Aide services suspended
  • Annual Seed Swap suspended
  • Community Closet operations suspended
  • Concrete Town Hall has been suspended to the public
  • Congregate Meal Program modified
  • Department of Licensing/ Concrete Licencing is closed to the public 
  • DSHS in person appointments suspended
  • DVSAS in person appointments suspended
  • Legal Clinic in Concrete at the ECRC
  • Senior and Disabled Person’s Property Tax Exemption Program suspended
  • Upper Skagit Library programs & services suspended

I’m currently homeless or about to become homeless. What kind of help is available?

Community Action’s Housing Interest Pool, 360 416-7585: We can provide information and referral to all resources available at this time. Unfortunately, resources are limited. We are continuing to process “Check-Ins” for those currently on the Housing Interest Pool. Housing Intakes for the Coordinated Entry system for people experiencing homelessness are temporarily on hold.

Community Action’s Street Outreach Program, 360-770-3480: The Street Outreach program is focusing on providing essentials to people on the streets: tents/tarps/sleeping bags as supplies last; information on accessing food; information on reducing the spread of germs; assistance with requesting motel vouchers. Those in need of the Outreach program’s assistance should call 360-770-3480. If our team is with another client or in transit, they will not be able to answer the phone – please leave a message, or better yet text if you are able.

Community Action’s Motel Vouchers for People Experiencing Homelessness: The COVID-19 Motel Voucher program has exhausted its available funding. Those who have been on the program’s waitlist are being notified of the program’s end and no new participants are being enrolled in to this program. All participants in this program will be checking out on May 4th, 2020. We are encouraging everyone who is living outdoors to do everything they can to practice social distancing, wash hands frequently and find a safe place to lay low for a while.

Veteran Motel Voucher
There is separate funding available for Veterans through the Department of Veteran Affairs.
If you are a veteran in need of shelter, please contact the Veteran Motel Voucher line: 360 899-6825.

Showers at Skagit Valley Family YMCA, 360 416-7585
We are partnering with the Skagit Valley Family YMCA to offer shower access to individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals needing access to showers should call Community Action at 360-416-7585 to be assigned a time slot for a shower in one of 4 private shower rooms. Soap and shampoo are provided, and towels will be handed out and then collected to wash by Y staff.

Shower timeslots are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3pm. Each person will be assigned a specific 25 minute time slot. Please be on time so we do not create a situation where people are waiting and/or congregating.

Health: What do I do if I need insurance, healthcare, or sick leave?

The Healthcare Authority will be providing assistance with Apple Health by phone. Please call 1-800-562-3022 for assistance. 

Washington Healthplanfinder special enrollment period between now and April 8.

Alien Emergency Medical (AEM) is a program for individuals who have a qualifying medical emergency and:

  • Do not meet citizenship or immigration status requirements or
  • Are qualified individuals who have not met the 5-year bar

Qualifying emergencies include Emergency room visits, inpatient hospital stays, outpatient surgery, dialysis, cancer treatment and antirejection medications.

How to Apply
The application for Alien Emergency Medical remains the same. Individuals have several options to apply for AEM coverage:

For individuals who are an adult age 65 or older, blind, disabled, or need long-term services, apply for Apple Health Classic Medicaid coverage online through Washington Connection or by calling 1-877-501-2233.These AEM updates are in place during the public health emergency related to COVID-19.

What do I do if I need help with my mental health or other behavioral health services?

The North Sound Behavioral Health Ombuds Program, 360 503-9472The North Sound Behavioral Health Ombuds Program provides self-directed advocacy for individuals receiving crisis services and/or State and Medicaid funded behavioral health services in Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties. All individuals are welcome to utilize the Ombuds program for a consultation.

Staff is following the Public Health recommendations for social distancing. Voicemails will be checked throughout the day to ensure that Ombuds can continue to serve and keep our community members healthy. If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call 360 503-9472 to speak to an Ombuds staff member.

Additional Resources:

Transportation: I need to get to appointments. What help can I get?

Skagit Transit Fare Free: In accordance with the guidance to practice Social Distancing, Skagit Transit will go FARE FREE during the COVID-19 emergency. This will allow riders and drivers to both follow the Social Distancing recommended by the CDC and other public health authorities.

Service Reductions:
Skagit Transit reduce service for both Fixed-Route bus service and the Paratransit service in response to declining ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic. For information about schedules visit: www.skagittransit.org/april-6th-service-reductions/.

I’ve been laid off. How do I find a job?

For job search assistance, including resume writing, cover letter, job application, and interviewing skills please contact 360-899-7482 or 360-899-7475 for more information.

I received a letter about ABAWD (Able Bodied Adults without Dependents). What do I do?

The roll out of ABAWD has been delayed at this time. For more information, go to: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/esa-1

I’m an immigrant, or have immigrant family members. What do we need to know about COVID-19 resources?

City of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs is partnering with El Comite and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. See FAQs for immigrants who want to know more about how the issue of public charge might affect their ability to access healthcare and other services during this COVID-19 outbreak.

United We Dream maintains information on healthcare access for undocumented residents. 

I’ve been taking classes with Community Action. What’s going on with those?

Community Action’s Adult Education & Financial Workshops: Currently all community-based GED and English Language Education classes are suspended until further notice. Current students will be contacted by their instructors for distance learning opportunities. All financial education, budgeting, Job Club, Renter’s Education and other workshops are suspended until further notice. 

Other Resources

Find yourself wondering about something you saw on Twitter?  Did a client/partner recently ask about something they heard?  Public Health now has a page addressing myths and rumors roaming about the community. 

Free WIFI Hotspots
The Department of Commerce created this resource for people to find free Wifi hotspots in their area. Click on any of the green dots within the map, and it will let you know the exact location of the hot spot and if a password is required.