In these uncertain times, our newsfeeds have been overwhelmed with global health updates. That’s why we, at the Rose Foundation, are providing a much-needed break from the pandemic coverage to remind you that the pivotal grassroots work continues!
Our outstanding Consumer Financial Education Fund grantees have been stepping up to help people around the country access critical financial education and support and develop true community resilience. They are demonstrating their commitment to people and planet, finding creative ways to adjust their work to these new and different circumstances. Continue reading to learn more:
Low and moderate -income families are struggling to make ends meet right now. To fill in these gaps, Capital Area Asset Builders has created an innovative financial wellness initiative to get cash to these DC families experiencing unemployment or a reduction in working hours, regardless of immigration status, through the DC Family Financial Recovery Fund.
Financial predators and scammers are already taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to target seniors, people who are fearful or cash strapped, and even people who are trying to be helpful. The California Reinvestment Coalition created this resource to help protect you and your loved ones from scams. Cal Reinvest has also put together a Bail Out the People Plan, calling for a comprehensive response to the pandemic that supports working people through this economic shock. And the Coalition is responding to proposed and enacted legislation to keep our government accountable to the needs of our communities.
In an effort to flatten the curve and social distance, the CASH Campaign of Maryland has converted all operations to be virtual. The group has been compiling resources for individuals, families, and small businesses to easily access and increase their financial security throughout this pandemic. They are also supporting folks with free tax preparation, federal aid applications, and more!
Some of the communities hardest hit by the public health crisis across the country are immigrant communities. In New York City, Chhaya Community Development Corporation is stepping in to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in their community, offering online financial counseling to access city resources, put together a financial plan, apply for federal aid, provide tax preparation services, give immigration consultations, and more! Chhaya is also providing support to restaurants and other small businesses run by immigrants, and organizing for an eviction moratorium and rent cancellation.
So many people are not sure where they stand financially right now, and planning for the future — even the near-term future — can feel impossible. East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) is offering emergency financial coaching and free tax preparation services through their VITA program. EBALDC is also offering in-person drop-off VITA appointments, for those who do not have access to digital services.
Young people and parents are in the process of figuring out how to successfully learn remotely and gain job and internship experience virtually. In Chicago, the Economic Awareness Council is helping Illinois’ most vulnerable populations access critical stimulus payments; supporting financial literacy curriculum with partner schools; and producing an online resource list for youth online career and financial literacy resources, as well as resources for parents and young adults.
With many offices remaining closed, internship and youth opportunities are uncertain. In Seattle, Juma Ventures is ensuring that there are other paid opportunities for youth who would normally be employed. Juma has organized online programming and workshops so youth can continue gaining valuable experience. So far, the group has been able to provide a paycheck to 100+ youth participants in Seattle!
Over the last few months, we have seen that there are many resources out there. Yet, there seems to be a missing link between those resources and the people who need them. In California, Mission Asset Fund is collecting donations for their COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to connect people with the resources and emergency relief they need and are eligible for during this pandemic through direct cash grants to people who can’t receive government aid, including immigrant families, undergraduate students at California public colleges, and LA young creatives; and through zero interest bridge loans to small business owners.
This crisis has also brought to light financial inequity and lack of financial planning knowledge in low-income communities and communities of color. Santa Cruz Community Ventures has published resources on their website to help people manage their money during emergencies and is raising money for UndocuFund Monterey Bay.
With so many people out of work, UpValley Family Centers has been working with over 650 households in the North Bay. Upvalley is providing these families, many of whom work in hospitality and restaurants, financial education resources; support in filing for unemployment; direct financial aid; grocery store gift cards; and connecting them with other vital resources. As UpValley points out, “These are households who struggled to make ends meet even before the pandemic struck, and who now have no source of income to keep their families housed and fed.”