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Helpful volunteers from Blackfeet Manpower are ready to assist those applying for COVID-19 stipends, directing drivers past the Indian Days campgrounds toward the entryway of Glacier Peaks Casino. 

They will be on-site from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Friday and will return as demand dictates.

The application process for Blackfeet members to receive their $500 COVID-19 stipend began on Aug. 31. Manpower volunteers are ready to assist folks needing help with their applications at a drive-through outreach at Glacier Peaks Casino. Folks may also go to blackfeetnation.com and apply directly, which, according to Public Information Officer James McNeely is the manner in which most have applied so far.

“A lot of people are using the online application,” he said. As of Sept. 2, they received 7,001 online applications as well as another 3,000 from the drive-through at the casino, and Glacier Family Foods and other remote distribution sites. By that date, a total of 388 complete applications had been sent to Tribal Enrollment.

“The satellite offices are distributing applications, and are trained and available to assist the communities of Seville and Heart Butte,” said an update from Manpower. “They are available to not only distribute and take dropped-off applications, but are available to assist members in completion of the application. This includes making copies for members that are needed for the application. Currently we have retrieved one application from Heart Butte and five from Seville drop boxes.

“We currently have 17 full-time Manpower staff working at the processing center and drive-through as well as 13 client workers who are members of the Manpower Workforce Center programs, including Tribal TANF, WIOA, GA and all the other programs under the Manpower umbrella. The drive-through process will continue through Sept. 11 and then will taper off as determined by demand.”

The stipend checks will begin going out in the next couple weeks, McNeely said. Most people are opting for having the checks mailed to them, but there will also be on-site pickup available with officials equipped up with protective gear and practicing social distancing. Checks will also be available at the satellite offices.

In addition to stipend assistance, folks driving through will have the opportunity not only to fill out their 2020 Census form, but also register to vote. Those volunteers will be on-site at Glacier Peaks Hotel through this Friday, Sept. 11.

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