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New program helps non-English speakers apply for COVID-19 benefits

The Municipality and Alaska Literacy Program are offering assistance applying for COVID-19...
The Municipality and Alaska Literacy Program are offering assistance applying for COVID-19 benefits.(ktuu)
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 4:17 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Municipality of Anchorage is teaming up with the Alaska Literacy Program in an effort to reach out to people whose English language skills form a barrier to applying for COVID-19 benefits. The three-month pilot program provides trained COVID-19 Peer Leader Navigators who can help guide people through the process.

“I think everyone knows that Anchorage is super diverse and we have over 100 languages represented, so if you think of it that way, you know, those are individuals those are families, it’s a pretty large [population],” said Program Coordinator Nyabony Gat.

Gat said the navigators can help people apply for assistance with things like rent, utilities, food and childcare. The service is free and open to anyone who has a language, cultural or even technological barrier that makes it difficult to apply for assistance.

There are a number of ways that people can connect with the program: online to request assistance from a navigator, by email or by calling or texting 907-290-3639. People can also visit the Alaska Literacy Program in person at 1345 Rudakof Circle, Suite 104. Operating hours are Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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