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 & rental assistance programs, 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: October 1, 2020
Financial & Rental Assistance for Residents Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic
When COVID-19 began we knew that it would be our lowest-income families of color who would be hardest hit and that the sudden and extraordinary loss of income could put many low-income households at serious risk of homelessness. So, we mobilized quickly alongside Sacred Heart Community Service and dozens of other public and private partners to meet this impending crisis.
Working in collaboration with Silicon Valley Strong and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Regional Response fund, we began aggressively fundraising to help secure resources for families and individuals in-need. Thanks to the generosity of dozens of public and private funders (see full list at the bottom of this page), we’ve raised $40 million to support families in need – including a $10 million anchor contribution from Cisco.
We also began developing the infrastructure to reach and assist vulnerable residents in our community. While we knew we could leverage our countywide Homelessness Prevention System, it only had the capacity to assist approximately 1,500 at-risk households per year. So, we also established a special COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program to help the tens of thousands of additional households who would find themselves in financial crisis.
Through the Homelessness Prevention System, and the first two phases of our COVID-19 Financial Assistance program, we have provided more than $23 million in rental and financial assistance to over 12,000 households in-need since the pandemic began:
Our Current Round of Assistance
On October 1st , we launched a 3rd round of assistance to provide further assistance to our lowest-income and most vulnerable neighbors.
This latest phase, called the COVID-19 Emergency Homelessness Prevention Program (CEHPP), is designed to work in conjunction with new statewide eviction protections adopted last month as part of AB 3088 (read more). Through CEHPP, eligible residents can receive:
- Assistance to help pay off a portion of back-rent accrued during the pandemic
- Assistance to help cover a portion of upcoming rent payments
- A small amount of direct cash assistance to cover other critical needs
- Legal resources and education
- Associated referrals to supportive services, including eviction defense
The level of assistance will be based on the household’s specific situation, and the amount needed to trigger key state eviction protections via AB 3088 and ultimately keep people housed.
Our priority will be to assist COVID-impacted residents with the lowest current income and who have not received unemployment benefits during the pandemic. To learn how to apply for this assistance, please visit Sacred Heart’s COVID-19 webpage.
Partnering with Organizations Throughout the Community
Our efforts to reach tens-of-thousands of vulnerable residents during the pandemic would not be possible without the support of more than 70 partner organizations who have helped enroll and disburse funds to residents throughout our community.
Among these partners are 50 small grassroots groups with deep and trusted relationships in different parts of our community, As part of our COVID-19 response, we made approximately$4 million in small grants to these organizations to help us reach and assist residents in neighborhoods that are historically and chronically under-resourced and where we know COVID-19 has had the most severe impacts.
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 2,500 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 100,000 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
In addition to these temporary measures, our partners have helped connect more than 1,000 homeless individuals to permanent housing during the pandemic.
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