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Here’s a List of Coronavirus Resources Because Our Political Leaders Have Largely Failed Us

3:22 PM PDT on March 25, 2020

    [dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]ife was already scary and precarious for hundreds of thousands of Angelenos before the Coronavirus. The average monthly rent hovered in the city hovered around $2,250 for a one-bedroom apartment, which ate up 121 percent of low-income Angelenos paychecks. Largely because of that rent burden, almost 60,000 people across L.A. County are unhoused, and that’s probably an undercount of people who have precarious housing situations, like people living on friends or family members' couches. 

    Not to mention ongoing rampant environmental injustice issues across the county, from the ongoing legacy of lead poisoning in South East L.A., to toxic car and truck emissions in Boyle Heights, and toxic oil drilling sites in Wilmington, all people who are at more risk of contracting the Coronavirus because of poor air quality conditions in their neighborhoods. People whose health is only worsened by the fact that 2.7 million people in L.A. County don’t have health insurance, a majority of whom are Latinx. Even if you do have health insurance, one in four Americans with insurance reported that they couldn’t afford their own medical bills. 

    Millions of people have applied for unemployment benefits in California because of coronavirus related layoffs. Some estimates predict that 30 percent of working aged adults could be out of work sometime in the next three months, which is a higher unemployment rate than during the Great Depression.

    During incredibly scary moments like this, it would be nice to have leaders willing to fight to literally save people’s lives and stop useless suffering. Instead, we have political figures at the federal level who just bailed out corporate America and some aid for small businesses, but not much for everyone else

    At the local level, we have a mayor who ordered a wobbly eviction moratorium, where renters who can’t pay their monthly rent will have to pay back unpaid rent within six months after the end of the pandemic, an almost unthinkable burden to put on people without also enacting a rent suspension for individuals and small businesses during not only a worldwide public health pandemic but mass layoffs and work stoppages in a city where 63 percent of people are renters.

    With lagging political leadership, local community groups like Reclaiming Our Homes are taking the lead, especially during this crisis, by housing unhoused people in state owned vacant houses. Other community organizing groups like Ktown for All, Street Watch L.A., and LA CAN have stepped up to provide hand washing stations to unhoused communities when the city itself has been unbearably slow at even getting basic hygiene necessities to unhoused communities, and Governor Gavin Newsom has yet to materialize a plan to work with motels and hotels across the state to at least temporarily house the unhoused.      

    In the Governor’s list of “essential critical infrastructure workers” released on March 19 before the state’s stay at home directive, along with grocery store workers, plumbers, daycare providers, health care workers, public health officials, construction workers, and laundromat workers, reporters were listed as necessary services during this unprecedented crisis. It’s in that vein of service, and solidarity, with the community that we serve that L.A. Taco will continue to report on important community-oriented news that serves and strengthens our community’s bonds to each other during this crisis. 

    With that being said, here’s a list of community-based groups and other organizations doing what our political leaders have yet to do, offer monetary relief, supplies, and much-needed help and solidarity for those in need. Please comment if you have another relief fund to add to the list, or drop us a line.

    The L.A. Taco Coronavirus Resource List 

    General resources- 

    List of Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority winter shelters

    LASHA has extended winter shelter hours at eight shelters around the county, some will stop services at the end of April, others are set to end the last week of September.

    List of 42 recreation centers around L.A. County converted into emergency shelters for the unhoused

    Check L.A. Taco’s Lexis Olivier Ray’s earlier story for locations for all 42 centers.

    Food Bank Locator 

    Find your nearest foodbank. 

    L.A. Taco’s map of LAUSD School sites serving free meals 

    Find where kids up to 18 years old can get free grab and go meals from LAUSD school sites.

    Map of Elderly Meal Program drop of points 

    Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services will be delivering packaged and frozen meals to parks, community centers, and other locations throughout L.A. county for seniors in need. Family members, friends, or caregivers below the age of 65 must pick up the meals, not seniors themselves.  

    Urban Partners Emergency Food Distribution 

    Urban Partners Los Angeles is looking to both distribute thousands of pounds of groceries to those in need and looking for volunteers to help make those deliveries.  

    Ground Game L.A.’s Mutual Aid Network  

    Local community organizing group Ground Game L.A. is raising money, groceries, and supplies to give to vulnerable communities during the pandemic. 

    COVID-19 Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC Folks 

    Relief funds for LGBTQI and people of color from $100 to $1500.

    Operation Period 

    A group called Operation Period is trying to raise money to distribute free pads, tampons, liners, and menstrual cups to people. 

    Unemployment Insurance for laid-off workers, or those who’ve had hours cut

    If you’ve been laid off, temporarily laid off, or have had your hours cut, you can apply for up to $450 per week in unemployment insurance. Unlike before, people will not be required to show that they actively looked for work while receiving unemployment insurance for the time being. 

    Emergency Medi-cal

    Undocumented Angelenos can apply for emergency Medi-Cal health insurance.  

    Resources for food service workers 

    Street Vendor Emergency Fund

    This group is raising money for out of work street food vendors. Vendors are being asked to call (323) 388-3724 for up to $400 in direct cash assistance. 

    No Us Without You 

    Va’La Hospitality is raising money to provide food for undocumented, back of the house restaurant staff. 

    ROC Relief 

    Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a nonprofit founded as a mutual aid organization that fought for improving restaurant workers' wages after September 11, 2001, is offering direct aid to laid-off restaurant workers, and seeking donations to grow their fund.  

    One Fair Wage  

    Restaurant worker’s advocacy group that is offering relief funds, and asking for donations, for restaurant workers. 

    Bartender Emergency Assistance Program 

    The United States Bartender’s Guild is offering relief for laid-off bartenders and their family members. 

    CRA Restaurant Workers Grant 

    The California Restaurant Association is offering relief to laid-off restaurant workers.  

    Another Round Another Rally 

    Nonprofit from Arizona that’s looking to distribute up to $500 in aid for laid-off hospitality workers.

    Resources for freelancers and gig workers

    Freelancer COVID-19 Emergency Fund 

    Relief funds are available for freelance workers.

    COVID-19 and Freelance Artists List

    A huge list of emergency relief and grants available for artists and freelancers of all kinds for direct monetary aid, groceries, paying bills, and supplies.

    The Creator Fund 

    Email marketing software company ConvertKit is providing up to $500 in relief for “creators”

    MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund

    The Recording Academy is offering relief funds for musicians who have lost money due to canceled gigs. 

    More resources, including a list of free educational resources for kids, local restaurants and churches offering free food, and resources for unhoused people can be found on a growing list of community resources throughout L.A., here

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