People who have not qualified for the state and federal coronavirus-related relief programs due to their immigration status now have a potential tool to access help.
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday launched the San Mateo County Immigrant Relief Fund and voted unanimously to contribute $2 million in Measure K funds to it. Measure K funds come from a countywide half-cent sales tax.
The fund also has a $5 million contribution from local developer John Sobrato and $1.7 million from other private donors, according to a county statement.
The board also agreed that in a month they would discuss contributing additional funds for the program after hearing stories from a number of households in the county that have struggled to deal with rent costs as people have been unable to work due to pandemic-related closures or child care needs while schools are closed.
The economic downturn from the pandemic has hurt Hispanic women, immigrants, young adults and those with less education particularly hard, according to a June report from the Pew Research Center. During the pandemic, about 19% of foreign-born workers compared to 12% of U.S.-born workers have lost their jobs, according to the report, which cites U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. Hispanic women saw the greatest employment decrease compared to white, Black and Asian groups of both sexes during the pandemic at 21%.