by JR Valrey, Black New World Media
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter is a well known community activist from Hunters Point who is helping people who haven’t received their stimulus checks sign up to get them. His pop-up clinics are taking place every Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Have you gotten yours? Do you need help?
JR Valrey: Can you tell folks a little bit about the program you are working with to help unhoused people get their stimulus checks?
DeBray Carpenter: So basically, we’re helping unhoused people – as well as others – fill out nonfiler forms and remove any barriers – i.e. no email address and/or address – to get checks sent to you. We also help them to track down their payments via the IRS portal.
JR Valrey: What inspired you to do this type of work?
DeBray Carpenter: This isn’t the type of work that I typically do. I typically focus on education, economic development and local hiring but due to my rapport in the community, coupled with the reduced capacity of a number of organizations due to the current pandemic, I was chosen as someone with the capacity and empathy to take on the project.
JR Valrey: Why are you doing this work in Hunters Point?
DeBray Carpenter: I’m doing this work in Hunters Point because I’m from Hunters Point and we are an underserved community in general, especially as it relates to our most vulnerable population, the unhoused.
JR Valrey: When are the days and times when you will have the pop-up help clinic?
DeBray Carpenter: We are in front of Mother Brown’s on the corner of Jennings and Van Dyke streets every Saturday from 9-1, we also move around to different locations and hotspots, and plan to do that more. You can get info on pop-up spots on our Facebook fundraiser page.
JR Valrey: How can people stay in touch with you and these efforts?
DeBray Carpenter: The best place to stay abreast of the latest with the stimulus project is through our fundraiser page on Facebook where we regularly post updates. Go to
JR Valrey, journalist, author, filmmaker and founder of the Black New World Journalists Society, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook. Visit www.youtube.com/blockreporttv. All stories related to COVID-19 were partially made possible by the Akonadi Fund #SoLoveCanWin.