Fundraiser supports local immigrant families in need
–In April 2020, a coalition of local organizations, community leaders, and concerned individuals came together as SLO County UndocuSupport in a collaborative effort to support immigrant community members who were left out of the national relief package for COVID-19.
Immigrants, many of them undocumented, do essential work in key industries such as agriculture, hospitality, domestic services, and caregiving. In the state of California the undocumented represent 10-percent of the workforce, and paid approximately $2.5 billion in state and local taxes last year. It is estimated that one in eight children in California live with an undocumented parent. This vulnerable population is not eligible for federal and other disaster relief aid.
Two trusted local agencies, CAPSLO and Center for Family Strengthening, are receiving applications from families in need and distributing funds. So far, grants have been awarded totaling $70,000 from The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees.
However, the need is great. More than 9,000 undocumented residents live and work in San Luis Obispo County. The applicants requesting assistance are mainly families. Many of them have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 or have had their hours cut back severely. People are struggling to pay their bills and are facing food insecurity.
Gina Whitaker from Allies for Immigration Justice, SLO County explains the importance of this effort: “The impact of this pandemic shines a light on the inequities that already existed, and continue to exist, among the poor and marginalized communities in this country, including undocumented immigrants. They are our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and fellow students. The virus does not discriminate – it doesn’t care about race, class, or wealth. Our response to this crisis should not discriminate either.”
To learn more and to make a donation for immigrant families in need, community members can go to SLO County UndocuSupport.