Mutual Aid in the time of COVID-19

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We are facing an unprecedented public health and economic crisis. Low-income immigrant communities and communities of color across the country are disproportionately impacted by mass loss of employment, food insecurity, and disparity in access to quality health care and services. CPA is organizing the COVID-19 Emergency Stabilization Fund as part of our mutual aid response efforts to ensure that those most impacted by the current pandemic have the resources they need to stabilize their financial livelihoods and to keep themselves and their families healthy. 

Among the immigrant Chinese community, many of whom are low-wage workers, seniors, tenants, and young people from low-income families have no safety nets to fall back on, leaving them exposed to the negative health and economic impact of COVID-19. Compounded by rising racial and xenophobic violence inflicting fear and trauma upon the Chinese community, with workers and seniors bearing the brunt of brutal attacks. Many working class and immigrant Chinese workers relied heavily on service jobs in restaurants, domestic care, and the gig economy have seen their jobs decimated or have had their labor rights severely violated, wages stolen, sick pay denied, and many can’t afford to take time off despite shelter-in-place. 

But from this moment of uncertainty, we can harness the power of community to change the trajectory of the pandemic by ensuring our most vulnerable community members have the resources and assistance to survive and thrive beyond this crisis.

Donate to CPA COVID-19 Emergency Stabilization Fund now so we can provide urgent and immediate financial assistance and supplies to individuals in need in our community (workers, elders, tenants, and young people) hurting most by the current pandemic.



If you have more questions, please see a more detailed FAQ.

Who is eligible? The fund is organized to support the most vulnerable members of the community living and working in San Francisco or the greater Bay Area, including low-wage workers, SRO tenants, elders, and young people from low-income families.

Where can I find the application? The APPLICATION IS NOW CLOSED. As of May 1, 2020, CPA has received over 4,500 applications from community members. Since we have received more applications than anticipated, we have decided to close the application in order to do our due diligence to review the current number of requests. 

What is the application process? Once a request form has been submitted, it undergoes a review process by a staff and community panel to verify the applicant’s financial need and other due diligence. 

How much assistance can I request? Community members seeking financial assistance can submit a request for up to $500 per individual or household. Given the urgency and critical needs of the current situation, we expect high volume of requests for limited funds. Therefore, we encourage individuals to submit one request on behalf of your household. We hope to extend assistance to as many community members as possible. 

How does the fund work? We are raising funds to provide direct cash assistance to as many community members as possible. Individuals with immediate needs can apply through a streamlined application process. Funds will be distributed through electronic payment, check, or whichever mode is most accessible to applicants and their situation.

What can the funds be used for? The fund assists community members and their families to acquire resources and pay for essential necessary for their physical and economic well-being, including but not limited to: rent, utilities, groceries, personal protective equipment, and medical-related expenses.

What percentage of my donation goes to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Our goal is to raise $50,000 to temporarily meet some of the significant needs in our community. The fundraising platforms we are using charges a standard 3% transaction fee, so the remainder of the donation will go directly to the fund.

How else can I support the mutual aid work? We believe in the abundance of love and care in our community, so we are coordinating with other community-based mutual aid response efforts. Please consider giving to mutual aid funds below. You can also join CPA’s mailing list to be plugged into our mutual aid work, including assistance workers with Unemployment Insurance applications, supplies and food distribution, community skills sharing, and more!

If you would like to support those impacted by this crisis, please also consider donating to one (or more) of the following mutual aid funds:

UndocuFundSF: Support for undocumented families in San Francisco

API Council COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Chinatown CDC Resiliency Fund: Support Chinatown Seniors and SRO Residents