Janae, a single mother of four, was unable to work after the pandemic shut down her childcare. After it finally reopened, she was able to go back to work, but found herself behind on her rent.

Beverly had to reduce her hours at work due to underlying health issues that put her at higher risk.

John worked in the restaurant industry and his income was significantly impacted by the shut-downs.

These are just some of the stories that Multi-Service Center (MSC) has heard from the thousands seeking rental assistance due to impacts of COVID-19.

Since May, MSC has distributed just under $4 million in rent assistance to approximately 700 households throughout South King County. Households access funds through an online application or through several referral partners including the Afghan Health Initiative, FW Black Collective, Federal Way Public Schools, Highline Public Schools, Living Well Kent, Partners in Employment, Renton School District, and Somali Youth & Family Club. MSC is also a partner for King County’s Eviction Prevention Rent Assistance Program.

“The community response to the increased needs the COVID-19 pandemic has created has been heartening. We are so thankful for those that have recognized this need and stepped up to give what they can during this time,” said Robin Corak, MSC CEO.

In addition to funding from government sources, an anonymous donor come forward willing to match up to $50,000 in donations towards rent assistance. Several organizations and local community leaders stepped up to help ensure MSC could leverage this match, including King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, KSC Freight, Renton Regional Community Foundation, the COVID19 Response Fund, Coldwell Banker Danforth, Referrals Unlimited, David and Donna Berger, and Rotary Clubs in Auburn, Bellevue, Federal Way, Fremont, Kent, Mercer Island, and Woodinville.

Households seeking rent assistance must meet income and geographic guidelines, as well as demonstrate how COVID19 has impacted their ability to pay their rent. Due to the overwhelming need, MSC is currently at capacity for most online applications, but anticipates reopening online applications by mid-February.

More information and applications, when available, can be found on MSC’s website at https://mschelps.org/gethelp/rentalemergencyassistance/covid19rent/.

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