Weather: Mostly sunny today with temperatures in the 60s. Expect partly cloudy skies this evening with the temperature dropping down to the mid 40s.
Parking on the alternate side: In force until April 29 (Maundy Thursday, Orthodox).
Federal stimulus checks were meant to be a near universal benefit, payments totaling $ 3,200 that would help most Americans recover from the financial hardships of the pandemic.
But many homeless people in New York may have missed out because they didn’t file a tax return – which can be a daunting task if someone doesn’t have an ID or ID. ‘address.
[No address, no ID, and struggling to get their stimulus checks.]
I asked Andy Newman, the Times social service reporter, about his recent story highlighting these challenges. Here are some of his slightly edited responses:
How did you find this story?
After receiving my first stimulus payment, I started to think about a homeless mother I met during the Black Lives Matter protests and wonder if she got her stimulus money.
After the third stimulus magically landed in my bank account, without my having to lift a finger, I thought that maybe there were a lot of people who couldn’t get the money that easily. I don’t need the stimulus money to survive and yet I get it, while others who need the stimulus money to get back on their feet may not know they can get it.
It seemed so crazy to me that I wanted to make a story.
What problems have homeless people had in getting their payments?
You name it. Some people didn’t know they were eligible or thought they weren’t because they didn’t have a phone or ID. Others said they couldn’t find a place offering free help with filing their tax returns.
Imagine all the bureaucratic hassle you encounter in everyday life and multiply the difficulties and inconveniences.
How can homeless people receive their payments?
First, they need to file a 2020 tax return. If they have ID and a mailing address, there are places that offer free tax preparation help, including a (very) small number that you can visit in person, listed here and here.
If they need more basic help, like getting ID, there are nonprofits that offer assistance with awareness pop-ups.
New York City Relief pop-ups are listed here, and they also offer help with dunning tips online, by texting “relief” to 844-683-3113, and by phone to 201-380 -4553.
The Coalition for the Homeless nightly pop-up is at East 51 Street and Park Avenue.
Readers who want to help financially should donate to these organizations, Beth Hofmeister of the Legal Aid Society told me.
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And finally: Amusement returns to Coney Island this Friday
Very soon the clicking of the cyclone will resume, people will again be in awe of the view from the top of Deno’s Wonder Wheel and many of Nathan’s hot dogs will be consumed.
Coney Island amusement parks will reopen this Friday after being closed for a season due to the pandemic.
As per state rules, parks will allow 33% of their usual occupancy, runners will space out to allow for social distancing, and employees will often clean rides and other high-impact areas. All entertainment enthusiasts over the age of 2 will need to wear a mask.
Stricter measures, like a ban on yelling on rides, as some Japanese theme parks did in 2020, don’t seem to be on the table.
“It is necessary to cover the face, but shouting for joy is encouraged,” Ken Hochman, marketing director of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park told me yesterday.
Five hundred frontline workers will receive free entry to Luna Park on opening day, and 100 local hospital workers will benefit from the first round of the cyclone. The first 100 frontline workers to arrive at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park will receive a free ride on the 150-foot-high Wonder Wheel, which is celebrating its 100th full season this year.
“Coney Island rides are synonymous with summer in Brooklyn,” Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president and mayoral candidate, wrote in a statement. “Their closure last year was painful for all of us. We are excited to see the Entertainment District come back better than ever to revitalize our local economy and allow friends and families to enjoy.
It’s Tuesday – keep going.
Metropolitan Agenda: Underhill Avenue
On Underhill Avenue in my Brooklyn neighborhood, there is a mural of Underdog, the canine superhero from my childhood, on the side of a building.
One day, as my partner and I were walking past with our own dog in the trailer, a man walking behind us started singing the theme “Underdog”.
Without discussing it, my partner and I joined in the chorus:
“Speed of light, roar of thunder, combat of all those who steal or loot.” Underdog. Underdog! “
Our own superhero adventure on the way to the park.
– Jon Reiss