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Northwest Arkansans concerned $600 stimulus bill will not be enough



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.– Americans are set to receive up to $600 direct payments now that President Trump has signed the $900 billion pandemic relief package. One man said this money will not be nearly enough.

In August, Randall Collins was laid off and was not able to find work again until December.

So far, he has received one paycheck. While the stimulus check is helpful, much more money is needed he said.

“It’s better than nothing but it’s kind of a slap in the face because it’s like, ‘Here y’all’, shut up griping and just take this,” he said.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction but if you’re gonna give someone six hundred dollars you oughta do it for three or four months in a row.”

Collins went without income for four months after being laid off, only receiving unemployment checks during that time.

While he found a job as an Administrative Supervisor at a Logistics Company earlier this month, he is still months behind on bills.

“Six hundred dollars right now wouldn’t even pay my rent for one month.”

Collins said he even had to sell his own car to try and cover some costs.

He is among many concerned with the stimulus amount.

Salvation Army’s Director of Social Services, Ambra Bruce, said based on what she has seen in our community, this second round of Covid relief money is much needed for many.

Bruce said the first round of $1,200 stimulus checks proved to be helpful for many of the people the Salvation Army helps.

She said the timing of this round of checks is helpful, especially with evictions expected to increase after January 31st when the eviction moratorium is lifted.

But, the needs of northwest Arkansans may be greater than what these checks can provide.

“Currently between both offices we’re probably fielding at least 100 requests per day for financial assistance,” Bruce said. “While we’re happy and excited to do what we can we know that we’re just scratching the surface.”