Wilmington, Del. – The newly-created Delaware Immigrant Fund has just distributed its first round of funding to support undocumented immigrant families who applied for COVID-19-related relief aid.
The $20,000 distributed during the Delaware Immigrant Fund’s first round of grants will help 40 families across the state pay their rent, utilities, and other emergency needs.
For its first round of grants the Delaware Immigrant Fund received 135 applications in less than a week requesting a total of $110,349 in relief support.
Of the applicants, 95 percent had been laid off and/or lost hours/wages due to COVID-19, 86 percent are single parents or are the primary source of income in their household, 55 percent have urgent food needs, and 36 percent have contracted or are an individual at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
The first round of grantees were selected after the Delaware Immigrant Fund received applications for support through its website, completed screening and verification calls, and considered the applicants against the fund’s available resources and priorities.
The fund prioritized applicants from Sussex County, given the outbreak of COVID-19 among the immigrant communities in the county, and prioritized families who were sick with COVID-19 or were caring for family members who were sick.
One grantee’s eleven-year-old son completed the application and wrote: “My mom does not speak English. She is single. Our Dad died and grandmom died from the virus. My mom needs help please.”
Another grantee with three children requested assistance with paying her rent after the whole family contracted COVID-19 and her husband returned to work but only was working two days each week.
For all applicants, whether they were given financial assistance or not, the Delaware Immigrant Fund is working to provide support by connecting them to critical information about social services they can utilize.
Since its inception on May 15th, the Delaware Immigrant Fund has received 301 applications requesting a total of $239,000 in emergency financial relief aid.
The fund has also raised $27,682 from 210 individuals and was recently granted an additional $30,000 from the Longwood Foundation.
“We are receiving several calls and applications each day and the need is great. We’re extremely grateful for Longwood Foundation’s support. We’ll need much more public and private sector investment to address the enormous impact of COVID-19 among the immigrant community in Delaware,” said Safe Communities Coalition co-chair, Dalissy Washington.
The fund’s committee is currently reviewing applications and will make its second round of grants next week.
Applicants and potential donors can learn more about the Delaware Immigrant Fund at www.ImmigrantFundDE.org.
About the Delaware Immigrant Fund: The Delaware Immigrant Fund provides financial assistance to immigrant Delawareans who are affected by the COVID pandemic but are excluded from federal relief and ineligible for most state safety-net programs. The fund is being hosted at Network Delaware as a grassroots effort that emerged from the organization’s Safe Communities Campaign.
The Safe Communities Coalition launched the fund after urging Governor Carney in an open letter to do more to provide financial relief to undocumented Delawareans who are unable to receive federal CARES Act stimulus funding or state level unemployment benefits.
About Network Delaware: Launched in 2017, Network Delaware is a statewide community organizing and empowerment organization with a mission to “activate change agents.” Learn more at www.thenetworkde.org.