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Alone Together: Stories Of Social Distancing — Stimulus Check Recipients

Photo illustration of a person speaking in a phone screen
Renee Bright
Earlier this month, adult U.S. citizens started receiving their federal stimulus check.

In late March, President Donald Trump signed the Federal CARES Act giving a one-time stimulus check to adult U.S. citizens. The checks varied by income but can be as much as $1,200. Families received an additional $500 per child. KUER wanted to know how people planned to spend the money. Here are some of their answers.

Cliff Harris

Harris said he would use his check to help some people who rent from him, but added it will cost him more than $1,200.

“I’m a small-time landlord. I have a handful of rental houses in the Salt Lake Valley. I’m giving each of my renters a hundred dollars off their April and May rent.”

Kevin Lee Caster

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Caster has had little money coming in. He’ll use his check to try and change that. 

“I plan to use my stimulus check to help fix up my house to put it on the market so that I can sell it. I've lost all my income from the economy shutting down.”

Cali McMurtrey

Credit Cali McMurtrey

McMurtrey planned to split up her check for charity and other obligations before getting something new. 

“I gave 10% to tithing and 10% to The Road Home. For the rest of it, I’ve been planning a new driveway for a long time, so I might put it toward that.”

Marshall Rudd 

Credit Laura Huff

Rudd and his wife have four kids. They received $500 for each kid and Rudd will let his children enjoy some of that money. They were also planning for a cruise in May. That’s on the backburner now.

“For the four kids, we are giving each one of them $100 of the $500 and letting them pick something that they want to spend their money on. For my wife and I, our portion of it is going to go to our vacation fund.”

Elijah Gregory

Gregory is currently out of work and said that he can only spend money on necessities.

“I just recently lost my job and that stimulus money is going to add one extra month of a safety net until I have another source of income. I don’t see how I could spend that money on anything other than necessity.”

JoAn Ishimatsu

Ishimatsu planned to give her money to charity, but not all of it. She’s going to treat herself with some home improvement. 

“I’m going to give some to the Red Cross, some to the Volunteers of America, and some to the food bank. And then I am going to splurge and replace some curtains.” 

Ross Terrell is an editor for KUER News. Follow him on Twitter @RossTerrell7

Ross Terrell is the managing editor at KUER.
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