San Francisco Expands Outreach and Support to Latino Community Heavily Impacted by COVID-19
La Familia Unida Contra COVID-19 effort will increase awareness of health orders, support prevention strategies, and connect residents to significant recovery resources available to community
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, in partnership with the COVID Command Center and Latino Task Force (LTF), today announced new strategies for COVID-19 awareness and recovery resources for the City’s Latino communities.
Included in the plan is the La Familia Unida Contra COVID-19 (Families United Against COVID-19) campaign that will focus on culturally-responsive safety messaging to increase awareness of health orders and guidelines, as well as programs that support the community with food, housing, finance, and mental health services. One such program is the Right to Recover program that provides qualifying residents with financial support while they recover from the virus.
“Our Latino community has been heavily impacted by this pandemic, and we have been working closely with our community partners to make sure resources and testing are accessible for those who need it most,” said Mayor Breed. “The City and the Latino Task Force have created innovative programs, many supported by Give2SF, and we need to continue to do the work to connect people to these critical resources. This new campaign will help us continue to spread the word in the community about what everyone can do to keep themselves and their families safe, healthy and supported.”
Latinos make up of 50% percent of reported cases of COVID-19 in San Francisco, despite the demographic making up just 15% of the City’s population, according to the Department of Public Health. The stark disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on the Latino community can be traced back to crowded living conditions and the high number of frontline and essential workers who are Latino.
“The virus is impacting our community greatly. We need to take stronger action now. To protect our Latino families, essential workers and community, we must come together and join the collective effort to fight against COVID-19, because doing so helps us all” said Valerie Tulier Laiwa, the Latino Task Force Lead Coordinator. “The City, in partnership with the Latino Task Force, has put forth La Familia Unida Contra COVID-19 Campaign strategy along with the Latino Task Force Resource Hub, to provide critical services from financial support to food assistance and most importantly, to empower the community.”
Mayor Breed directed an initial $100,000 food security investment to help establish the Latino Task Force Resource Hub, and subsequently directed an additional $200,000 from Give2SF towards this effort. The City has since leveraged these investments to attract an additional $600,000 philanthropic commitment from the Crankstart Foundation to support these critical health resources. Each $100,000 supports one month of vital food security to 7,000 primarily immigrant households in the Mission and citywide.
To ensure important safety messaging is received by the most vulnerable and at-risk, the campaign promotes safety information via public service announcements on traditional, print, and digital platforms, such as Univision Radio, Telemundo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, newspaper promotional ads and billboards promotional messaging within the communities most affected by COVID-19. Spanish-language flyers promoting testing sites in the Mission also were created to spread messaging of available resources for Latino communities.
The City’s relief programs are working to fill the gaps in federal funding by putting money in the hands of the people that need it the most. The programs aim to remove barriers to allow access to relief for those who may not trust government programs due to their immigration status and experience in the criminal justice system. In total, the below programs are providing over $7 million to support vulnerable San Franciscans, including immigrants and undocumented residents.
- The Right to Recover Fund: The program provides those who qualify with a wage replacement while they recover. Based on San Francisco minimum wage, a two-week wage replacement amounts to $1,285. The program’s financial support will serve up to 1,500 San Franciscans who test positive for COVID-19 to focus on their health and recovery regardless of their immigration status. ($2 million from Give2SF)
- Family Relief Fund*: This fund offered monthly financial relief of $500 to $1,000 for families that do not qualify for local, state, or federal assistance such as cash or food aid, sick time (due to hours reduction or job loss), and unemployment. The program prioritizes 1) families with a parent or guardian that is incarcerated or recently deceased, 2) individuals without social security, and 3) undocumented residents. Funds were distributed by community-based organizations that have long-standing relationships with the communities they serve. ($4.88 million from Give2SF)
- Immigrant Workers Fund: To further support immigrant workers who are ineligible for state and federal programs and have been impacted by COVID-19, the City has partnered with Bay Area Community Resources and Community Youth Center to facilitate and distribute funds for supportive services and food aid. Eligible individuals receive up to a single $200 payment for supportive services and a single $200 payment for food security. ($400,000 from Give2SF)
*Fund limit reached.
For more information on the above programs, call the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) Workforce Hotline at (415) 701-4817 where representatives are available 7 days a week to answers calls in multiple languages, or email email@example.com. Information is also available online at oewd.org/covid19/workers or by calling 311.
Currently there are four community testing sites in the Mission District that are administered by the Department of Public Health:
- LTF Resource Hub: 701 Alabama St, Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Castro Mission Health Center: 3850 – 17th St., Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Mission Neighborhood Health Center: 240 Shotwell St., Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Zuckerberg San Francisco General Testing Site: 1001 Potrero Ave., Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Additional mobile testing capacity will be deployed to those communities highly impacted by the virus and a new brick and mortar site will be established in the southeast sector of the city. All of the community testing centers provide tests results by phone, conduct contact tracing, and offer social services if test results are positive.
In addition to the economic relief programs listed above, the City has funded numerous programs to provide food security and housing stabilization for San Franciscans, with a focus on supporting residents who are most vulnerable.
- Isolation/Quarantine (IQ) Food Helpline – The City’s centralized resource for food insecure people in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19. This resource provides free groceries or prepared meals to people who have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, are a Person Under Investigation (PUI) awaiting test results, or are considered a “close contact” and cannot otherwise access food. Individuals may be referred to this resource by a medical provider, public health staff, social services organization, or 3-1-1.
- CalFresh – CalFresh is a state program that issues monthly payments to recipients that can be used to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets, and some restaurants. CalFresh also gives recipients access to free job and training services as well as discounts on utilities, transportation, and more. To sign up for CalFresh, contact: (415) 558-4700 or visit: GetCalFresh.org.
- Great Plates Delivered – A temporary food delivery program of three meals a day to adults 65+ who are sheltering in place or adults 60-64 who are high risk of contracting COVID-19. Great Plates currently runs through August 9.
- Home-Delivered Meals and Groceries – Meal delivery for homebound adults who are unable to shop due to a mental or physical condition.
- Community-Based Take Away Meals – Offers meals to adults 60+ at sites located throughout San Francisco.
- Food Pantries – Weekly and bi-monthly groceries at sites located in San Francisco.
- Help is available to all San Franciscans in need of food assistance due to COVID-19. If you know anyone who is experiencing hunger or needs help finding food pantries or food assistance programs, please encourage them to call 3-1-1.
- COVID-19 Eviction and Rent Increase Moratoriums – Emergency tenant protections, including more time to pay your rent, suspension of evictions during the pandemic, and a rent freeze in City-subsidized housing.
- Give2SF Housing Stabilization Program – Financial help to pay rent, utilities, and other housing costs if you have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Homeowner Emergency Loan Program (HELP) – No-payment loans of up to $25,000 to cover HOA dues, property taxes, and lump-sum deferred mortgage payments.
Mental Health Support
- Hotlines and urgent care centers that offer mental health and comprehensive crisis services.