Thanks to the generosity of many private donors, we are now launching a 2nd round of financial assistance through our COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program.
Over the past two months, we have been working in partnership with Sacred Heart Community Service and a dozen community-based partners to disburse financial assistance to vulnerable families as quickly as possible, totaling over $10 million in direct cash assistance to over 4,000 low-income households throughout the first phase of our program.
However, we know that this represents only a fraction of the need in our community. In fact, our Interest List has grown to 14,000 households and we know there are many more of our neighbors in desperate need of assistance.
We also know that the most severe impacts are being felt by the lowest-income families in our community – those who were severely rent burdened before the pandemic hit are now simply just struggling to survive – and this suffering is even worse for those who can’t receive unemployment benefits and other forms of assistance from the federal and state governments.
Based on these sobering realities, our next round of financial assistance is focused on serving extremely low-income families in our community who are ineligible for unemployment or other forms of federal stimulus.
Phase 2: Focusing on Those In Greatest Need of Assistance
In recent weeks, we’ve consulted with dozens of community leaders about the need in our community and their ideas for best utilizing the funding that would be available. Based on their input, as well as a survey they conducted of more than 300 vulnerable families, we’ve developed a set of eligibility criteria and outreach strategies to focus our limited funding available towards serving our most vulnerable neighbors.
To qualify for assistance during this round of assistance, households must meet the eligibility criteria below:
- Live in Santa Clara County;
- Have household income less than 30% of the Area’s Median Income (a.k.a. Extremely Low Income households) prior to the COVID-19 crisis;
- Can demonstrate a loss of income related to the COVID-19 crisis;
- Are ineligible for unemployment benefits or recent federal stimulus payments; AND
- Did not already receive assistance from our COVID-19 relief fund.
Eligible individuals can receive $1,000, up to a maximum of $2,000/household. Additional details, including instructions on how people can add their name to the Interest List, are available here: English Flyer, Spanish Flyer, Vietnamese Flyer.
We have also expanded our coalition to 70 partner organizations, which will help us reach eligible families and individuals throughout the community – and serve them as quickly as possible:
- During this phase of the program, Sacred Heart Community Service is partnering with more than 20 organizations to help eligible households to complete applications, contact households on the interest list, process applications, and disburse funds.
- In addition, Destination: Home is making over $1.7 million in small grants to 50 local grassroots groups who will help us enroll and disburse funds to eligible households in communities where the organizations already have trusted and established relationships. Ensuring an equity lens is important to us, and given the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on communities of color, we are committed to partnering with organizations and groups led by and serving communities of color and other underserved populations.
We appreciate the efforts of all of our partners who’ve come together to help serve vulnerable families and individuals during these extremely challenging times. View a list of all of our Phase 2 partners.
We Are In This Together
Of course, NONE of this would be possible if it weren’t for the generous contributions made by so many different businesses, organizations and people in our community. Since launching this program with $11 million in March, we have more than doubled our fundraising to $25 million.
We are particularly grateful to our partners at Cisco, who have truly anchored this financial assistance program with a total contribution of $10 million, and our partners at Silicon Valley Strong and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund who have helped us lead this fundraising drive.
While we are focusing our current funding on serving those most-in-need of assistance, we know that the need in our community runs much deeper. And we will continue doing everything we can to help more struggling families and individuals impacted by this pandemic. If you’re able to help, please consider donating to our COVID-19 Financial Assistance Relief Fund.
In addition to continuing to fundraise for this important effort, we will keep ramping up capacity within our Homelessness Prevention System to address the expected increase in families at-risk of losing their homes as the impacts of the pandemic linger and certain temporary measures expire.
We will also push even harder for our federal and state representatives to adopt significant rent relief legislation – which will be absolutely necessary to truly meet the enormous need in our community and take care of all of our at-risk residents that have been impacted by this crisis.
We will keep you abreast of our progress on all of these fronts, and hope you will remain engaged in our efforts to assist our most vulnerable neighbors through this crisis. Thank you for your continued engagement and support.