Receiving Federal Stimulus Checks During a Housing Crisis


Homelessness and housing insecurity are some of the pervasive obstacles identified in our field hearings and report, “Obstacles at Every Turn: Barriers to Political Participation Faced by Native American Voters.” Lack of adequate housing is a crisis across Indian Country.

In addition to making it difficult to vote, housing insecurity can make it harder to receive much-needed federal relief during the pandemic. People who are facing housing instability may not have an income that requires filing federal taxes, but that is how to qualify and receive a stimulus check. Even without a long-term address, there are ways to file with the Internal Revenue Service and receive the available funds:


Infographic: How to Receive a Stimulus Check When Lacking a Home Address

        1. You need access to an address
          • With permission, you may use a friend or family member’s address, or you may use a community center, church, or other community resource address (recommended to get permission in writing).
          • When you get the mailing address, file a change of address form with the post office (even if there is no address to change from) to the address you are now using. You may need a piece of paper from the community center/church/etc. giving you permission to use their address.
        2. If you have ongoing access to a computer with internet: Make sure you have access to a personal email account and phone. Choose from a variety of free online tax filing services to file a tax return
        3. If you do not have regular access to a computer with internet, locate a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) center near you.
          • Determine hours of operation.
          • Many have tax packets for pick up. Once you fill out the information in there, VITA representatives will file your taxes for you and go over them with you.
        4. Select whether you would prefer your returns (stimulus check) to be delivered as a check or debit card.
          • Note that most banks require an account to deposit checks.
        5. Check with person that gave you permission to use address for arrival of stimulus.

      For more information or if you want to help more people:

      Angel Resource Connection, based in Seattle, provides lots of information and training on how to reach larger numbers of people who are entitled to, but have not received, stimulus money.

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