San Francisco’s Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, with more than $5 million in donations, will prioritize providing financial assistance for vulnerable residents and workers to pay for groceries, rent and other basic needs, said Mayor London Breed.
"We are committed to supporting all San Franciscans during this incredibly challenging time, including those who are most vulnerable," said Breed in a statement.
In Contra Costa County, where Patricia lives, the Board of Supervisors will consider this week whether to advance millions of dollars to groups that serve undocumented and other residents, said county Supervisor John Gioia.
“We are trying generally to help those nonprofits to the extent we can continue to provide those really vital services,” Gioia said.
But he acknowledged a lot more resources will be needed to help people whose livelihoods have been wiped out by the health crisis and measures in place to try to halt it.
“We are going to be dealing with the negative impacts of this pandemic long after the pandemic ends,” Gioia said. “And there's going to be a need for a major public investment to make families whole.”
In California, undocumented residents contribute $3 billion annually in state and local taxes, according to the nonprofit Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
Immigrants who are not eligible for a Social Security number, including undocumented ones, can use an Individual Tax Identification Number to pay taxes. The federal government collected $13.7 billion from taxpayers using an ITIN in 2015, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Patricia said she hopes some of the money she’s contributed in taxes using an ITIN can help support her during this crisis.
“It would be good if the state supported us, if they remembered us,” Patricia said. “We (undocumented) are very vulnerable.”
Cash assistance for undocumented workers
You can find a list of relief funds offering financial assistance (in English and Spanish) here.
Centro Legal de la Raza is planning on offering $500 in relief grants to impacted workers who live or work in Oakland. Apply here.
Mission Asset Fund in San Francisco will offer $500 grants or zero-interest loans to impacted immigrant families, students and low-wage workers. Applications are scheduled to open on April 1.
The Silicon Valley Strong Fund offers cash assistance to residents of Santa Clara County. While $11 million in contributions have currently run out, those interested can add their name to a list in case more funds become available.
For help referrals and other resources:
The city of San Francisco encourages all workers and business owners impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to contact the Office of Economic and Workforce Development for assistance at 415-701-4817, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the city’s 311 number.
Officials in Oakland and Contra Costa County recommend workers call 211, a free statewide number providing access to local community resources.