Cashmere Councilman, PUD engineer lauds PUD column

Dear Editor,
You prosed an excellent question to Chelan PUD GM Steve Wright (CVR/Echo/Lake Chelan Mirror Dec. 30 edition) regarding low income assistance during this pandemic induced recession.  Amongst the lower income citizens, especially restaurant and hospitality workers, the recession is deep even though most middle and upper income families are seeing a booming stock market and real estate market.  Steve provided an excellent answer for a very complicated question.  The simple answer is:  It’s complicated. 
It would be interesting to learn how many people are behind in utility bills (electric, water, sewer, etc.) compared to last year.  And, if the average late balance has grown.  With nearly all utility providers currently not charging late fees nor shut offs, it has reduced the incentive for people to prioritize utility bills over other bills.  I know of one family in Cashmere with three young kids that are behind in every bill including rent, utilities, car payment, car insurance, and others.  The mother was laid off at the start of the pandemic and the father has only worked limited hours.  He was laid off about two weeks ago and is now struggling to get the State to provide him his unemployment benefits.  How ironic that the State gave approximately $200 million to thieves six months ago but now have a burdensome bureaucracy to struggling families now.   
Lots of people in our valley are struggling.  If you know of a family struggling, feel free to directly help them.  Drop off food at their house, anonymously pay a utility bill, or something else.  You can also provide assistance to the food bank or other groups that selflessly help people in need.  Is there a list of help already compiled that I can give directly to people in need?  The family I mentioned doesn’t even know many of the services available for them. 
Thanks, Daniel Scott
Cashmere

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