Neighbors in Need
A COVID-19 Emergency Fund
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, LIRS knew we had to take action for the immigrant and refugee community. Our New American family was hit hard by COVID-19 and its effects; many lost their jobs in the service, hospitality, and production industries, while many more risked their lives on the front lines of healthcare and food production. Many of our immigrant brothers and sisters were excluded from government stimulus packages, while others were hesitant to get medical care for fear of retribution.
We established Neighbors in Need as an emergency fund to serve these critical needs. In just four months, we were able to provide emergency financial assistance to 361 at-risk families who have suffered illness, job loss, or other hardship due to the crisis.
Neighbors in Need distributed supportive funds to families and individuals in light of the following:
- Loss of Income 63%
- Emergency Housing Expenses 53%
- Emergency Medical Services and Related Costs 4%
- Emergency Child and/or Elder Care 2%
- Loss of Access to Social Services 2%
- Emergency Travel 1%
- Other 3%
Through Neighbors in Need, funds were provided for immigrants and refugees in the following categories:
- People with disabilities
- People with mental/emotional health issues
- People with physical health issues
- LGBTQ+ communities
- Single parent households
- Uninsured/under-insured homeowners or tenants
- Homeless/underhoused people (prior to disaster)
- English language learners
- People living below federal poverty line
- Unemployed/underemployed people
A Reason for HoPe
This single mother of four lost her job as a dishwasher in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was extremely troubled about her unemployment status and feared they would have to leave their home. The children shared their mother’s anxiety, intensified by uncertainty surrounding their father’s detention in immigration custody. Fortunately, the family gained approval from Neighbors in Need and were allotted funds to ensure they could meet rent. The children also received electronic tablets to learn English and advance their other studies virtually. The mother has since been able to return to work and to achieve some financial stability.
Standing in for a son
Ms. Nuong Thi My Kien and her three children arrived in the US in 2016 from Vietnam and registered as secondary migrants with The Center. Nuong’s eldest son went to visit Vietnam at the beginning of 2020 but could not return due to the pandemic. As a result, the family lost its entire income, for he was the sole financial provider for the family of four. They were unable to pay their rent and did not have money to buy groceries. Thanks to Neighbors in Need, LIRS was able to extend Ms. Nuong’s family a grant to cover these expenses. The family avoided late fees and possible eviction.