As low-income families in Santa Clara County are crippled by the economic impacts of COVID-19 through lost hours and wages, nonprofits, public agencies and Silicon Valley’s private sector are banding together to help.
The Santa Clara County Homeless Prevention System this morning launched an $11 million relief fund to assist residents with rent and other basic needs.
In order to qualify for the program, applicants must have a household income less than 80 percent of the area median income—typically $103,900 for a family of four—and be able to document financial losses due to COVID-19.
— Cisco (@Cisco) March 22, 2020
So far, 11 nonprofits and businesses have kicked in money to help fund the program:
- $2 million from Cisco
- $1.5 million from Western Digital
- $1 million from Adobe
- $1 million from Destination: Home
- $500,000 from Zoom
- $500,000 from Broadcom
- $300,000 from Micron
- $150,000 from Facebook
- $100,000 from Infosys
- $100,000 from Silver Lake
- $100,000 from Hewlett Packard Enterprises
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the San Jose City Council will also be voting at their March 24 meetings to allocate an additional $2 million each to the fund.
“We are hoping that this allows direct financial assistance to alleviate the immediate financial crisis during this period of emergency in Santa Clara County,” said Chad Bojorquez, the senior director of initiatives for Destination: Home.
Households that fit the program criteria will be eligible to receive up to $4,000 a month and can request assistance once a month as long as the local health emergency lasts and as long as funds are available.
“The only way we get through this is if we do so together, so it’s up to all of us to help keep families in their homes during this difficult time,” Facebook spokesperson Chloe Meyere said in a statement. “We’re proud to support Destination: Home’s work to prevent homelessness, and will continue seizing every opportunity to support our neighbors struggling with the impact of COVID-19.”
The fund is part of Silicon Valley’s latest efforts to pull together amid the coronavirus outbreak. Last week elected officials and nonprofit leaders announced the launch of Silicon Valley Strong. The website is currently connecting volunteers with nonprofits that are in desperate need of help with sorting, packing and delivering food to seniors and low-income residents throughout the county.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said that more than 1,000 volunteers have signed up since its launch on last Wednesday. “Right now we are seeing many step up to say we are ready to care for one another,” he said. “And we hope that together as a community … we will be stronger through this crisis.”
Both Cisco and Facebook made commitments this weekend outside of the homeless prevention program to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Sunday evening, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said that his company would put forward $225 million in cash and in-kind donations for COVID-19 response locally and globally.
And on Saturday, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg announced via an internal employee memo that the social media giant would donate 720,000 masks—both surgical masks and N95 respirators—and 1.5 million pairs of gloves to healthcare workers world wide. Facebook had the stash of masks on hand as part of emergency kits due to California’s increasingly devastating wildfires.
To apply for assistance, go to sacredheartcs.org/covid19 or call 408.780.9134.