Published on: Friday, November 4, 2022 Takoma Park Newsletter

Takoma Park Opens Direct Cash Assistance Program

Applications for Takoma Park’s Direct Cash Assistance Program opened late last month, for a one-time, lump-sum cash payment to eligible households in the city. In total, the City plans to give out roughly $2.15 million direct cash assistance to more than 2,100 Takoma Park households at $1,000 through the new program. To be eligible for the cash assistance program, households need to be within the Takoma Park city limits and have an income of $50,000 or less per year.

“It’s pretty straightforward; the application, somebody creates an account in the online system, and then they submit photos of documents they have,” said acting deputy city manager Rosalind Grigsby, “We’re also trying to use other programs they may qualify for as qualifiers, like SNAP or WIC funds or other assistance programs they’re part of that demonstrate the need. That way we can forgo making them start from scratch with other documentation.”

The City is partnering with LiveStories, a civics analytics platform, to help distribute the money to those who are eligible. The City is stressing that everyone who is eligible is encouraged to apply for the funds, no matter their immigration status. “We don’t ask about immigrant status in Takoma Park, so they would need some way to show their address, such as a utility bill or other kinds of things, and some way to demonstrate income, like pay stubs or tax returns or an unemployment statement,” said Grigsby. “We’re trying to work with them to make sure they can get the funds they need.”

The City previously had programs helping with rents, medical expenses, and utilities, but wanted to give people more options of how the money could be spent. “The council wanted something that gave people more control on what they need,” said Grigsby. “It’s trusting that they know what their families need.”

If you’re in need of assistance, it’s better to act fast to make sure you complete an application before the funds are depleted. “We’ll give out money until we’ve spent it all,” Grigsby said. “I hope that it goes quickly because our goal is to get it into the hands of people who need it as quickly as possible. LiveStories believes the funds will likely be spent in a couple of months.”

The funds come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provided emergency relief funds to communities hit hard by  the pandemic. In July, the Takoma Park City Council approved an FY23 budget of $2,300,000 for the Direct Cash Assistance Program using the funds.

To help make sure everyone who is eligible can sign up online, the city times for when people can come into the city building or the new library and have staffers help them through the application: Thursday, November 3, from 3–9 p.m. in the Hydrangea Room at the Community Center, 7500 Maple Avenue Saturday, November 5, time to be determined, in the Library at 7505 New Hampshire Avenue Applications for the funds will be available at the City’s web page for this project.


This article was featured in the November 2022 Newsletter. Visit the Takoma Park Newsletter webpage to see the full list of past newsletters.