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: July 22, 2021
Financial & Rental Assistance for Residents Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic
Need Help Paying Rent?
Low-income Santa Clara County residents who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can receive help paying rent. Assistance is available through two separate, but complementary programs: the statewide CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program, and the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System, which is focused on assisting our community’s lowest-income residents.
Please visit SCCRentHelp.org or call 2-1-1 for specific eligibility criteria, information on how to apply, and to be connected to community partners who are available to help residents fill out applications.
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, we’ve raised tens-of-millions of dollars to support families in need.
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 have also established special time-limited assistance programs to help the tens of thousands of additional households who would find themselves in financial crisis.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, this coordinated effort has provided more than $42 million in rental and financial assistance to close to 16,000 households in-need.
The Current Phase of Rent Relief
In May, we launched our latest phase of rent relief via the Homelessness Prevention System – COVID-19 Response.
This local initiative is specifically focused on serving Extremely Low Income residents (whom we know continue to face the most severe impacts from the pandemic). The local program was also designed to complement the statewide CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program, and to ensure that we have a program that is tailored to the needs of our lowest-income and most vulnerable residents.
Through the Homelessness Prevention System – COVID-19 Response, eligible families and individuals can receive assistance paying off back rent, and may also qualify for funding to help pay upcoming rent and meet other basic needs. Visit PreventHomelessness.org for additional program details.
The program is leveraging funding from the County of Santa Clara’s and City of San Jose’s direct allocation of federal emergency rental assistance funding, as well as millions of dollars in private donations to our community’s COVID-19 relief effort.
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 over the past year.
In particular, this partnership has included approximately 50 small grassroots groups with deep and trusted relationships in different parts of our community. As part of our COVID-19 response, we have granted millions of dollars 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.
And special thanks go to the several dozen funders who’ve generously contributed to our financial and rental relief effort!
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 refer more than 4,000 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 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 over 3,000 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
Lurie and Vogelsong Charitable Fund
Micron Technology, Inc.
National Low Income Housing Coalition
Peter & Danielle Jensen
Scott Cook and Signe Ostby through The Valhalla Charitable Foundation
The Select Group
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Strong & their donors
Sobrato Family Foundation
Spero Family Charitable Fund
Stanford Health Care
The Warburg Pincus Foundation
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