San Francisco Extends Funding for Right to Recover Program to Support COVID-Positive Workers
Funding will support an additional 5,400 workers who need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 and may not have access to social safety net programs or other means of assistance
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Hillary Ronen today announced that San Francisco will allocate an additional $5.4 million from the City’s General Fund to extend the Right to Recover Program through the end of June 2022 to meet the current surge in applications. The extended Program will continue the support of COVID-19 positive San Franciscans who are in need of financial assistance while self-isolating and recovering from the virus.
Established in July 2020 in collaboration with Supervisor Hillary Ronen, Right to Recover is a partnership between the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and community-based organizations, Mission Economic Development Agency and Young Community Developers. The Program aims to protect public health and ensure that a lack of financial resources does not deter anyone from getting tested, seeking care, and entering isolation. The Program originally provided 14 days of financial support of $1,285 to workers, however OEWD has adjusted the payment amount to $1,000 to align with updated CDC guidelines recommending 10 days of isolation.
Since its establishment, the City has directed $10.9 million to the Program, serving 7,037 San Franciscans to date, with 75% of the recipients residing in neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic. This includes the Excelsior and OMI, Mission, Bayview, Visitacion Valley, Tenderloin, and SoMa. The $5.4 million extension will serve approximately 5,400 more San Franciscans. Total combined program funding of $16.3 million will serve over 13,800 residents recovering from COVID-19.
“As we learn to live with COVID-19, we must continue to ensure that those who are not able to work from home and cannot afford to miss a paycheck have the necessary support to recover if they get sick,” said Mayor Breed. “When someone comes down with the virus, we want them to focus on getting the care they need and the resources to isolate in order to protect their family and surrounding community. Right to Recover not only allows us to help those who may not have access to health or unemployment insurance, but it allows us to protect the health and safety of all residents in our City.”
Right to Recover was created to offer a safety net for people who face financial hardship and lack access to benefits such as unemployment insurance or paid sick leave while in isolation following a positive COVID-19 test result. Approximately 46% of program participants are Spanish speakers. English speakers makeup 43% of referrals, followed by 11% of participants who speak languages other than Spanish and English, including Cantonese, Russian, and Arabic, or an unidentified preferred language.
“The Right to Recover program that I created together with the Latino Task Force on COVID-19 has been a lifesaver throughout this pandemic. It has allowed low-income workers and families to prioritize their own health and well-being as well as that of the public by giving them the financial support to stay home and quarantine when they test positive for COVID. This program has been a small bright light in this grueling pandemic and I’m glad we will keep it going as long as it’s needed,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen.
When a person tests positive for COVID-19, SFDPH contacts that person and offers resources based on their needs. SFDPH refers individuals requesting financial assistance in order to safely isolate to OEWD and its community partners Mission Economic Development Agency and Young Community Developers for a Program intake. The City does not ask or record any questions about citizenship or immigration status.
“Right to Recover is a financial safety net that has served thousands of vulnerable residents in San Francisco. Many of these residents are workers that don’t have the option to work from home and still be able to pay their bills or put food on their table,” said Kate Sofis, Executive Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “We are grateful to our community partners for their work and role in this important program- one that has proven vital to the city’s economic recovery.”
“We need to make it possible for San Franciscans who become infected with COVID-19 to isolate and recover for their own health and well-being, and to limit the spread of the virus within their families and community,” said Director of Health, Dr. Grant Colfax. “Providing the resources for people to do this through Right to Recover is a matter of equity, especially for our highly-impacting communities who have suffered so much during this pandemic.”
If you or a family member tested positive for COVID, and are interested in the Right to Recover Program, please contact the San Francisco Department of Public Health COVID Resource Center at (628) 217-6101 to receive a Program referral.
For more information on the Right to Recover Program, call the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) Workforce Hotline at (415) 701-4817, where representatives are available Monday through Friday to answer calls in multiple languages, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. People can also visit oewd.org/covid19/workers to learn more.