Resources for The Unemployed

Some of us are directly experiencing economic hardship and uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic, or our friends and family. There is help available from local, state and federal sources. 

These resources are for you to use and help keep our community strong.

King County resource summaries:

HOW TO APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IN WASHINGTON STATE (how to apply online 24/7 at secure.esd.wa.gov/home)  

HOW TO APPLY FOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN WASHINGTON STATE (apply online 24/7 at FileFast)

COVID-19 FINANCIAL HELP IN WASHINGTON STATE (Unemployment and workers comp, mortgage and rent help, student loans, Utilities, insurance, food assistance, businesses and more).

Financial resources

Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by COVID-19 Washington State Department of Financial Institutions list of resources for Washingtonians.

Unemployment Benefits

Many people who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut are eligible for unemployment benefits. See esd.wa.gov. A flier on the website provides an outline of possible benefits.

Please note that the website has been having difficulty keeping up with demand, so try at off hours such as early morning or late at night. The governor waived the one-week waiting period and expanded eligibility, so apply immediately.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Washington’s Employment Security Department has a paid family and medical leave program. Washington workers who need to take time off from work due to a serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition, such as COVID-19 It may apply for paid leave benefits. Check your eligibility at paidleave.wa.gov.

Health Insurance
Apply for health insurance by April 8 or renew a plan though the Washington Health Plan Finder.

Food Assistance

Food Bank

The Vashon Maury Community Food Bank continues to provide nutritious food to anyone in need and offers both delivery and pick-up programs. The food bank encourages island residents who are part of the population especially vulnerable to COVID-10 to sign up for home delivery, which takes place each Tuesday. For others, grocery pick up occurs from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more information about the food bank or sign up for delivery, call 206-463-6332. See

School Nutrition Program

The Vashon Island School District offers meals for any district students who need them. Those who are interested should complete the community survey so the district can plan for quantities.

There are two ways for families to access free breakfast and lunch for students:

  1. 1. VISD bus drivers will deliver meals to designated pick up locations around Vashon. See the route information and schedule to find the time and location of your nearest pick up.
  2. 2. Families may also pick up a meal from the kitchen at Vashon High School between 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday – Friday. Please note at this time Washington State asks that students be present for meal pickup. This requirement may change in the future.

Vashon Senior Center

The Vashon Senior Center delivers lunches on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Isolated seniors are welcome to sign up by calling 206-463-5173.

Rental Assistance

If unable to pay rent, first, contact your landlord. Washington State has issued a proclamation that no evictions can take place through April 18. If you need help with rent or to avoid eviction, see Washington State Department of Health and Human Services.

Vashon Youth & Family Services can offer support, call 206-463-5511 or visit https://vyfs.org/resources.

St. Vincent de Paul Society Vashon

If you or a neighbor you know needs help with rent, utilities, food or other basic needs, leave a message in English or Spanish on our Help Hotline at 206.450.7577.

You can support our work by sending a check to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, PO Box 308, Vashon, WA 98070. Thank you for helping of our neighbors in need.

Utility Assistance

If you are having trouble paying your electric, gas or water bills:

  • Puget Sound Energy will not disconnect services for non-payment and will waive late fees. PSE is offering payment plans and an energy assistance portal to income-qualified customers. More at www.pse.com or call 1-888-225-5773
  • Water: Contact your water district for assistance.
  • Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission provides additional information and referrals: 360-664-1160 or www.utc.wa.gov/consumers/Pages/default.aspx

Mortgage Assistance

If unable to make your mortgage payments, contact your lender. It may waive late fees or give you more time to pay. You can also contact the Washington Homeownership Hotline at 1.877-894-HOME for more information and assistance.

Student Loans

Call your loan provider if unable to make payments. See also Federal Student Aid for more information.

Car Loans

Contact your lenders; it may waive late fees or give you more time to pay.

Credit Card Problems

Contact your card provider; it may waive late fees or give you more time to pay. You may also find helpful information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Public Benefits

Islanders seeking childcare, cash, long-term care and health care for individuals with disabilities can apply for assistance through Washington Connection.

The Orca Lift program provides subsidized public transit for reduced- and lower-income earners and youth.

Additional Assistance

Washington’s Department of Financial Institutions has created an information sheet on a wide range of financial concerns, including rent, mortgage and student loan payments as well as assistance for paying utilities. 

In addition to providing important mental health service, Vashon Youth & Family Services has provided a variety of information for economic support during this time.