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An Update on our COVID-19 Financial Assistance Fund

Six weeks ago, we launched a COVID-19 Financial Assistance Fund to provide emergency financial assistance to support low-income families and individuals who were facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic. We realized that without such assistance, the sudden and extraordinary loss of income could put low-income households at serious risk of homelessness. Thanks to the generosity of dozens of corporations, private foundations, government agencies, and individualswe have raised approximately $25 million to support families in our community  – including a $10 million anchor contribution from Cisco.

Unfortunately, our fundraising has been far outpaced by the unprecedented level of need. We received approximately 4,600 applications for assistance within the first three days of launching the fund – and since then, we’ve seen close to 13,000 additional households add their name to our Interest List.

With such a huge need in our community, we’ve been working hard to process applications and get money into people’s hands as fast as we possibly can. We’re happy to share that we will finish processing the first round of applications next week.

We are very grateful to Sacred Heart Community Service, our Homelessness Prevention System partners, and the dozens of other non-profits and individuals who volunteered their time to help us assist thousands of families during this extraordinary crisis.

Preparing for the Next Round of Assistance

As we close out the first phase of our initiative, we’re hard at work preparing for a second round of assistance with a focus on assisting residents who have been ineligible for other forms of assistance.

We will be launching this next phase in the next few weeks and will have more details to share very soon. But in the meantime, families and individuals in-need can add their names to the Interest List on Sacred Heart’s website, which we’ll use to contact folks when we’re ready to begin accepting applications.

***New Grant Opportunity for Non-Profits***
 
As we prepare to deliver another round of financial assistance, we are looking to partner with non-profit providers who can help us serve hard-to-reach groups and other specific vulnerable populations throughout Santa Clara County. View our RFQ for more details. Responses are due May 15, 2020 at 5:00pm PST

Our Recovery Must be Equitable

Through this process, we’ve also gained a better understanding about the members of our community who have been so severely impacted by this crisis. Truly, it’s the same families who were barely scraping by before the pandemic who are now struggling to simply survive.

  • For example, Rachel is a mother of three who had just welcomed a baby girl to the family over the winter. She was about to return to her job managing a gym, when the Shelter in Place order forced them to close down – and having already exhausted her paid leave during maternity, Rachel had no other way to take care of her family.
     
  • Then, there’s Chris. A father of five, Chris typically earns about $2800/month doing graphic design and photography. However, he started losing work in February as a result of COVID-19, and by the time he came to us in late March, he had only $3 left in his bank account. 

There are several thousand more people, just like Rachel and Chris, who need support during this challenging time and we remain committed to doing everything we can to assist them. 

We’re continuing to aggressively fundraise to ensure we can help as many of our struggling neighbors as we can. If you’re able to help, please consider donating to our COVID-19 Financial Assistance Relief Fund.