UndocuFund SF is a collective effort to ensure that undocumented people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have the support and resources necessary for their physical and economic well-being. Affected immigrants include our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and students. Many care for our children and elderly parents; clean our homes and hotel rooms; cook and serve our restaurant meals; or build our homes.
The Fund assists individuals and families who have lost wages/employment with essential living expenses, including but not limited to: rent, groceries, essential household items, and medical expenses.
The UndocuFund is a partnership among several San Francisco grassroots organizations that have a solid reputation, strong track record, and are known to and trusted by many undocumented residents: Mujeres Unidas y Activas, PODER, Jobs with Justice San Francisco and Trabajadores Unidos/Workers United (TUWU). These organizations have close ties to immigrant communities in San Francisco and will publicize the fund and identify eligible individuals and families.
UndocuFund SF has a fiscal sponsor that is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.
San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area counties were the first to issue a shelter-in-place ordinance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The founding organizations are rooted in San Francisco and are best able to disperse funds to communities we have strong relationships with in this geographic area. With the high cost of living in San Francisco and displacement of low wage workers, there is great need among undocumented people who live or have their work based in the City.
Unlike many other people who are losing work from COVID-19, undocumented immigrants do not qualify for unemployment insurance, federal stimulus checks or other governmnent relief. Even when they or their children are eligible for disaster relief services, their lack of immigration status, limited English proficiency, and fear of immigration enforcement prevent them from seeking assistance. Their discomfort or lack of familiarity with law enforcement, county government, and mainstream aid organizations present additional barriers.
An estimated 224,000 undocumented immigrants live and work in San Francisco. While precise numbers are unavailable, undocumented immigrants predominantly work in sectors that have been or will be hard hit, including service, hospitality, child and elder care, domestic work and construction.
Undocumented immigrants who live or work in San Francisco, or who lost their employment in San Francisco due to the pandemic are eligible.
The streamlined application process utilizes a simple intake form, which is completed by community partner organizations and/or trained volunteers. The staff of these partner organizations have experience in case management and client services, and they have been specifically trained on the UndocuFund SF intake and referral process. Once an application has been submitted, it undergoes a review process that includes verification and other due diligence.
A steering committee with representatives from Mujeres Unidas y Activas, PODER, Jobs with Justice San Francisco and Trabajadores Unidos/Workers United (TUWU), in consultation with immigrant community leaders, has established the eligibility criteria, developed a streamlined application process, and put in place verification procedures, as well as guidelines for determining awards. Upon completion of a thorough review process and final review and approval by the steering committee, funds are disbursed to families and individuals in need according to established criteria and guidelines.