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A direct flow of dollars from the federal government has been a lifeline for many Americans during the pandemic.

But for some of the country’s neediest — homeless people — the barriers to getting this cash have felt insurmountable. With no bank accounts, little access to the internet and a general lack of awareness that the money is available, many homeless people haven’t received the stimulus checks.

Activists for homeless people say this money could be potentially transformative for people who lack the savings to put down first and last months’ rent on a lease or have mounting medical bills.

For Terrance Wright, a 25-year-old restaurant worker, it could be mean getting out of a downtown hotel room the city has been renting him since he left Echo Park Lake in February. Wright had stayed in the park off and on for over a year and received a hotel room, for which he’s been grateful, during a spurt of outreach conducted in advance of the park’s closure last month.

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