COVID Relief Program Expanded for Immigrant Families Who Can’t Get Other Funds

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San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton joined several community organizations Wednesday to distribute funding to immigrant families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who can’t qualify for public assistance programs because of their citizenship status.

Funding through the city’s Family Relief Fund was created by Walton back in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic.

The program provides payments of up to $1,000 for families, or residents with children 18 and younger, who qualify for federal and state benefits but can’t access them because they’re not U.S. citizens.

According to Walton’s office, the program has served an estimated 4,800 San Francisco families and this week it will serve an additional 780 families.

The funding is distributed through organizations like the Latino Task Force, Bay Area Community Resources, Mission Neighborhood Centers — Centro Bayview and Young Community Developers.

Walton joined the organizations to distribute the new round of funds to families at the Bayview Essential Services Resource Hub, located at 1800 Oakdale Ave.

“We have been working hard this past year to respond to the COVID-19 crisis to protect all populations in San Francisco and we have not forgotten our immigrant families and families who are not covered under any proposed federal or state relief plans,” Walton said in a statement. “The Family Relief Fund is a direct economic relief for families who experience loss of income during this time of crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and this relief will provide immediate assistance for food, rent, childcare, and any emergency expenses accrued during this pandemic.”

“What you see today embodies what the hub is meant to do and is meant to be,” said Dion-Jay Brookter, executive director of Young Community Developers. “We are working across the aisle to bring resources to families that need it the most, including housing assistance, rental relief, eviction defense, workforce assistance, education assistance, and food security.”

“The people who are here accessing these services and funds are usually the ones who are unable to access mainstream services,” said Valerie Tulier-Laiwa, Latino Task Force coordinator. “Our organizations are here because we can provide the services to our communities in their respective languages whether it is Spanish or Mayan or another language.”

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