50 community resources to support Americans financially impacted by COVID-19

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April 10, 2020
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50 community resources to support Americans financially impacted by COVID-19

As Americans come to terms with the new realities of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, countless mutual aid networks have blossomed in every corner of the country. From direct financial aid for artists to grassroots workers fighting to end incarceration, people are mobilizing across the country to help each other.

Using several crowdsourced resource listsStacker curated a gallery of 50 mutual aid funds and other similar community resources for Americans who are struggling due to the virus. The list includes both national and local resources. Many resources are updated frequently as the pandemic continues to shape life in the U.S., so you can check resources directly for updates; there are ones available to help Americans from all walks of life. Plus, it turns out that mutual aid is a massive, possibly instinctive, human response to this pandemic.

As we all face this new normal together, it is worth keeping in mind the similarities across most of these efforts: We are quickly deploying high levels of creativity, solidarity, love, and compassion all over the country to support one another. Although each resource differs by detail, the underlying core is the same: we, together.

Science bears out that humans are hard-wired for empathy, along with many other species across the animal kingdom. “With familiarity, other people become part of ourselves,” said James Coan, a University of Virginia psychology professor who showed that people’s brain scans closely correlate to those of people to whom they are attached.

The resources in the list spotlight how deeply connected we are to one another. And perhaps, even beyond the direct support they offer, give a window of hope into just how instinctive it is for humans to make sure they can help one another in times of need.

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National resource list

This list is updated with various national, state, and other resources. Some are related to state-by-state eviction bans, federal and state relief, and non-government resources.

Printable mutual aid flyer

Use these flyers for offering services and resources that can be printed and posted on your door, in your building, or your neighborhood. This is particularly useful for helping the elderly, the immunocompromised, and those facing financial insecurity in the wake of suspended work who may not be reachable online. The link includes multiple translations with more coming.

COVID-19 resources for students

Here is a comprehensive resource guide for students that many others may find useful. The list includes links to CDC resources, disability and racism resources, action items, and much more.

Free Them All for Public Health

Free Them All for Public Health offers calls to action for protecting incarcerated people and others from COVID-19. This includes organizing protest campaigns to free people in the U.S. from jails, prisons, solitary confinement, and migrant detention. The organization’s website includes downloadable graphics and posters.

Mutual aid organizing form

This interactive mutual aid support form is a template you can use. It offers guidance on how to start organizing your own local (building, street, neighborhood-based) mutual aid. You’ll need Facebook to access this link.

Another Gulf is Possible

Another Gulf is Possible offers an extensive resource list that includes posters and graphics, community building, links to relevant reading materials, videos, and more. Some are included in Spanish and Mandarin.

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief offers a comprehensive resource list including state and local services. The list is updated daily; to add to the list, email Cindy Milstein at [email protected].

Campaign for Migrant Worker Justice

The Campaign for Migrant Worker Justice supports education, training, and organizing for farmworkers across the South and Midwest. Migrant and Latino communities often face “abuses in the workplace including wage theft, dangerous working conditions, harassment and discrimination.” And this is especially true now in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Food Chain Workers Alliance

The Food Chain Workers Alliance describes itself as “a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain.” This is a place to plug in to support workers in the US food system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Freelance artist resources

This Freelance Artist Resource List is meant for artists and allies of all stripes, including filmmakers, actors, writers, designers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, playwrights, photographers, and more. This is an “aggregated list of free resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.”

Artist Relief Tree

The Artist Relief Tree helps support artists in financial hardship. You can request or donate funds directly. The organization had planned “to fulfill every request with a flat $250 on a first-come-first-serve basis.” Though applications are closed, you can still join the waitlist or donate.

Connecting People with Chronic Illness

You can help support Connecting People with Chronic Illness during the pandemic. This GoFundMe campaign seeks financial support to help “organizations and people across the country...launch a powerful national network of people with chronic illnesses.”

Mutual aid fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC folks

You can help organize support for the Mutual aid fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC folks through this GoFundMe campaign. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the particular vulnerability of queer, transgender, non-binary and/or intersex Black, Indigenous folks and other LGBTQI+ people of color (QTIBIPOC folks). Due to our community disproportionately experiencing a lifelong arc of violence and discrimination, many of our community members are impoverished and housing unstable.”

Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund

You can help organize support for Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund’s GoFundMe campaign. The campaign recognizes that queer writers of color can use targeted support during the COVID-19 pandemic, and aims to help support at least 100 writers who have been impacted financially by the virus.

PrisonCulture's Redistribution Fund

PrisonCulture's Redistribution Fund is a pool for people with financial means who don’t know where to direct funds. They can deposit their money and the organization will redistribute across multiple mutual support projects.

One Fair Wage Emergency Fund

One Fair Wage Emergency Fund is helping to financially support hourly, gig, restaurant, and other workers directly affected by the financial crisis of the pandemic. You can both offer and donate support, and request help.

Coronavirus Care Fund

The Coronavirus Care Fund is a program of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. They are “working to slow the spread of the virus by providing emergency assistance for domestic workers that enables them to stay home and healthy.”

Book Industry Charitable Foundation

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation recognizes that one in five booksellers has had a financial emergency in the last two years, and that the COVID-19 crisis has put them at increased risk. They have a direct relief fund, as well as ways to help, for all booksellers impacted by the crisis.

RWCF Emergency Relief Fund

The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF) Emergency Relief Fund directly supports food industry workers affected by the pandemic. This includes direct relief to employees and nonprofits that support them, as well as zero interest loans for restaurants.

Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

The Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund helps people to donate directly in “support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists AND administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.” You can find an application form at the link.

Actors Fund

The Actors Fund supports the needs of the entertainment community, including emergency support for financial assistance, health-care counseling, and more. You can support the fund or become a member for access to benefits.

Musicians Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Aid Grants

The Musicians Foundation is offering modest emergency grants to support performers, educators, and composers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. As of April 1, the grant program was closed temporarily as the organization processes hundreds of applications, though it reopened April 7.

PEN America Writers' Emergency Fund

PEN America is supporting writers affected by the crisis through the Writers’ Emergency Fund, with grants of “$500 to $1,000 based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.” They expect to take 10 days to review and respond to applications.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund is available for artists facing emergency needs. As of March 18, there is a specific grant in place for those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Check their website for eligibility.

Birmingham Mutual Aid

In the Birmingham, Alabama area, visit Birmingham Mutual Aid. Here you can find ways to contribute, request support, and tap into the “needs list.” You can stay anonymous if prefered. There is also a link to an additional and extensive list of area resources. The publication is also presented in Spanish.

Juneau Mutual Aid

Juneau Mutual Aid offers various forms of individual and community support and networking. The interactive form helps connect locals to give and receive support. As organizer Sarah Lubiner said in a local news story, “While we are starting this organization in a time of pandemic, we hope that it creates connection and value in the community long beyond this time.”

Kinlani (Flagstaff) Mutual Aid

The Kinlani (Flagstaff) Mutual Aid includes local Arizona regions from “Timberline and Doney to Kachina and Mountainaire to offer skills, resources, supplies, space and time to community members who are most vulnerable.” You can seek and offer help. “These needs will include deliveries, transport, resource sharing and distribution, anti-racist/anti-xenophobic action and more depending on needs, resources, and capacity.”

Los Angeles Mutual Aid

The Los Angeles Mutual Aid Network includes information available in languages other than English, including Spanish, and is organizing across the region with other grassroots efforts to support community members who are most vulnerable. They provide grocery and supply deliveries and plan to expand to “running errands, dog walking, childcare, caregiving, first-line medical training and response, and mental health support for those impacted by the pandemic.” Los Angeles has an extensive network of mutual aid groups you can learn more about at Los Angeles Magazine.

Oakland At Risk

Oakland at Risk was launched by a group of working moms who “want to spread a message of hope and compassion by serving and loving our neighbors who are at risk of COVID-19.” The group has front-loaded their community response by anticipating an outbreak of the virus. They work to identify “healthy adults under 60 whose risk factors are low and are willing to be paired with someone with high risk factors. Once a match is made, you and your match can coordinate delivery of essential supplies such as food and prescriptions and you can create a check in schedule by phone or other electronic method.”

San Francisco Community Support

San Francisco Community Support is another central networking hub that helps with grocery shopping, dog walking, talking and check-ins on the phone, and tech support. They say: “Together, we will take collective action to address needs in our neighborhoods during this challenging time, and strengthen our communities in the process.”

Ventura County Mutual Aid

Ventura County Mutual Aid is run by the Democratic Socialists of America, Ventura County branch. Here you can not only give and receive support, but there is also a restaurant program called “Solidarity Meals” where neighbors can buy meals for neighbors.

DC Mutual Aid Hub

The DC Mutual Aid Hub is a very large central clearinghouse of grassroots mutual aid support groups in the Greater D.C. area. Groups abound around the region and the hub includes links and email addresses to organizers.

Indiana Music Industry Relief Fund

The Indiana Music Industry Relief Fund is a place to apply or donate to emergency financial relief in Indiana for “women-identifying and non-binary musicians, music industry professionals, non-profit music organizations...affected by the loss of work, cancellations, and loss of revenue due to COVID-19.”

KSEC & STAY Project Youth Mutual Aid Fund

The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC) and Stay Together Appalachian Youth (STAY) Project have collaborated on a mutual aid fund that supports “young people in our networks and communities impacted by COVID-19. Across the United States, COVID-19 is exposing our horrifying lack of a social safety net, and the history of divestment from the South and Appalachia are setting our region up to be hit even harder.”

Mainers Together

Mainers Together organizes "resources to [support] community-based efforts to respond to the community distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our most vulnerable friends and neighbors." They also have a $25,000 community assistance fund. Besides options to offer help and find help, you can send news tips, and more.

Western Massachusetts Community Mutual Aid

Western Massachusetts Community Mutual Aid is a community response that includes many local towns such as Amherst, Holyhoke, Florence, Easthampton, and many others. Besides the usual give-and-receive-help options and networking, the organization is also developing plans for financial aid, emotional support, meal delivery, a gardening/farming initiative, medical support, and others. They are seeking folks to help build the various projects. You can learn more about Western Massachusetts Community Mutual Aid at the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Cambridge Mutual Aid Network

The Cambridge Mutual Aid Network includes options to give and receive support, help develop the network, neighborhood pods, a direct aid emergency fund, and additional resources like a weekly update. The page has options to read in Haitain, Portugese, and Spanish.

Lansing Area Mutual Aid

Lansing Area Mutual Aid in Michigan has “partnered with OrganizingTogether to create an online training course and living library of mutual aid resources to help train our volunteers and support mutual aid efforts across the globe.”

The Dandelion Network

The Dandelion Network has a wealth of information on deeply organizing for the hyper-local Massachusetts mutual support necessary through and beyond the pandemic: “Given the vastness of impact we are all experiencing due to the covid-19 pandemic, it is going to take as many of us as possible modeling and practicing mutual aid to adequately confront the collective overwhelm and systemic impacts of this crisis.” The Dandelion Network has also “adapted a guide (on building hyper-local community pods) created by Mutual Aid of Somerville and Medford for the Lincoln community.”

New Jersey Mutual Aid Hub

The New Jersey Mutual Aid Hub provides links to grassroots mutual aid support groups in the New Jersey area. Groups abound in the region and the hub seeks people to add in regional groups when new support organizations become available.

NYC-DSA Mutual Aid COVID-19 Relief Fund

The NYC-DSA Mutual Aid COVID-19 Relief Fund is a direct aid fund for “marginalized communities, workers who have lost income, families, immunosuppressed individuals, and anyone else in need of food, resources, and supplies.” The fund-raising and efforts are organized by the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Dumplings Against Hate

Dumplings Against Hate is a grassroots organization to help support small businesses in Chinatowns around the country that are facing additional challenges (such as racism), during the COVID-19 pandemic. Locations include New York City, Oakland, and San Francisco.

NYC Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund

You can help the newly founded NYC Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund “support other artists and freelancers...who are taking financial hits as a result of closures and lost income from COVID-19.” This crowd-sourced campaign is helping folks directly, based on the funds they raise.

Emergency COVID Relief for Sex Workers in New York

You can help or receive help from the newly founded Emergency COVID Relief for Sex Workers in New York GoFundMe. Sex workers face not only immediate stigma, but all the other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. They write: “The most marginalized of us are the most at risk, and have nowhere to turn when clients stop coming to see us. … We are asking for donations and help from allies, clients, organizations, and workers not impacted by the pandemic so that we can take care of our community during this uncertain time!”

Abolition Action Grocery Fund

The Abolition Action Grocery Fund is a “New York City prison abolitionist collective committed to political education, resistance, and mutual aid.” This fund is for locals who are experiencing food insecurity as a result of COVID-19.

Ridgewood Mutual Aid Network

The Ridgewood Mutual Aid Network is a project of the Ridgewood Tenants Union in New York City to help compile “neighborhood-specific resources, share them, and reach out to our neighbors in Ridgewood who are in need of essential resources.” You can sign up to help or get help.

NYC United Against Coronavirus

NYC United Against Coronavirus is an extensive list of information and resources for all New Yorkers, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find resources here on almost everything you might need information and resources about if you are in New York City, or if you wish to directly help New Yorkers.

Seattle Artist Relief Fund Amid COVID-19

Seattle Artist Relief Fund Amid COVID-19 is a crowd-sourced campaign to support Seattle artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can donate or sign up to get on a waiting list for financial support if you are an artist in Seattle.

GLP SANI: Sex-Worker Aid Network Initiative

You can help or get help from the Seattle-based Sex-Worker Aid Network Initiative. The contagion of the virus has left and is still leaving sex workers in precarious financial situations because clients are increasingly afraid to see them.

Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective

If you are in the Tacoma area you can access and give support at the Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective’s Facebook page. Included there is this interactive form to fill out for help requests. You can ask for minimal financial assistance with essential deliveries in the Tacoma, Fircrest, University Place, and Fife area. The form also includes links for regions in the Greater Seattle area, including Snohomish County, Bellingham, Jefferson County, Olympia/Lacey, Southwest Washington, and Seattle.

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