As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, it has become clear that the most severe impacts would fall upon the poorest and most vulnerable residents in our community. This includes those who are currently experiencing homelessness, as well as those living paycheck-to-paycheck who are often just one financial jolt away from being pushed into homelessness.
So, at Destination: Home, we have been focused on doing everything we can to support these vulnerable households during the crisis. Read below to learn more about our COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program, the coordinated effort to assist our homeless neighbors during this pandemic, and the many organizations who’ve supported our COVID-19 response. You can also visit our News section for additional updates on these efforts.
Last Updated: September 23, 2020
Our COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program
A partnership between Destination: Home, Sacred Heart Community Service and a broad coalition of partners, our COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program provides emergency financial assistance to low-income families and individuals economically-impacted by the pandemic. Without such assistance, the sudden and extraordinary loss of income could put many low-income households at serious risk of homelessness. Since launching this effort, we have raised $40 million to support families in need – including a $10 million anchor contribution from Cisco.
PHASE 1: During the initial phase of the program, we disbursed just over $11.1 million in assistance to 4,043 low-income households who had lost income as a result of the pandemic. However, this only represented a fraction of the requests received – forcing us to target our efforts to those in greatest need.
PHASE 2: On May 22, we launched a second round of financial assistance focused on serving those most-in-need of assistance – extremely low-income residents who are ineligible for unemployment insurance or stimulus payments. Through September 21, we’ve disbursed $9.0 million to an additional 7,686 eligible households.
In addition, our existing Homelessness Prevention System has disbursed $3.1 million in assistance to 996 households during this same period.
Collectively, these initiatives have provided more than $23 million in rental and financial assistance to over 12,000 households in-need since the pandemic began:
To implement our COVID-19 Financial Assistance program, we have recruited the help of close to 70 partner organizations to help us reach eligible families and individuals throughout the community – and serve them as quickly as possible:
- Sacred Heart Community Service has partnered 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 has made over $3.4 million in small grants to 50 local grassroots groups who have helped us enroll and disburse funds to eligible households in communities where the organizations already have trusted and established relationships.
While we’ve served more than ten thousand residents in need through this program, this number is still dwarfed by the unprecedented level of need in our community. Since the program launched, we have received more than 32,000 requests for assistance – which remains far more than the funding we have available.
We will continue doing everything we can to help more struggling families and individuals impacted by this pandemic. Stay tuned for more details on the next phase of our Financial Assistance Program.
You can also read our September 2 email update for additional background and information on our COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program.
Supporting Homeless Individuals During the Crisis
We know that the spread of COVID-19 could be particularly dangerous for those experiencing homelessness. Individuals without stable housing not only face greater difficulty taking preventative actions, but they are often in poorer health than other residents.
As a result, Destination: Home has worked in partnership with the County of Santa Clara, City of San Jose, and our County Continuum of Care Partners assist those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. As part of this effort, we have:
- Supported efforts of the County’s and City’s Emergency Operation Centers to connect more than 2,000 vulnerable homeless individuals to appropriate congregate or non-congregate shelter during the crisis.
- Established a supply distribution program for service agencies that has distributed over 50,000 pieces of PPE to shelters, outreach teams, backpack doctors, and other partners
- Funded mobile shower and sanitation services, tents, tarps and other supplies for individuals living in encampments
- Developed a small grant program to support emerging needs among our non-profit service providers
Thank You to All of Our Generous Funders
Since this crisis began, dozens of corporations, private foundations, government agencies, and individuals have stepped up to fill immediate financial and supply needs in the face of COVID-19. Their support and partnership has helped ensure access to critical services and financial assistance for the most vulnerable in our community, providing health, safety, and economic and housing stability during this crisis.
Funding for the COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program for low-income Santa Clara County residents facing economic hardship due to the pandemic:
Adecco Group US Foundation
Bank of America
Brandenberg Family Foundation
Cisco Systems, Inc.
City of San Jose
COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, a component of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
County of Santa Clara
David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Housing Trust Silicon Valley
John A. Sobrato and Susan Sobrato
Micron Technology, Inc.
National Low Income Housing Coalition
Scott Cook and Signe Ostby through The Valhalla Charitable Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Strong & their donors
Sobrato Family Foundation
Spero Family Charitable Fund
Stanford Health Care
Zoom Video Communications, Inc.
General Operating Support for COVID-19 Response Efforts:
AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
Sobrato Family Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation
Whole Foods Market
In-kind Donations of Supplies, Technology Equipment, Personal Protective Equipment and Hand Sanitizer:
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Masks for Causes
Non Plus Ultra
SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant