COVID-19 Family Relief Fund

We are here for families during and beyond the pandemic. 

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Your support keeps families housed, safe, and moving toward self-sufficiency. 

We resolve crisis… 

We transform lives…

We offer hope & home…

…DURING AND BEYOND THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

 

Your support is addressing the urgent and long-term needs of families.

You are helping families mitigate the effects of the pandemic on their progress to self-sufficiency. 

  • PVSS is providing rent and basic needs assistance to ensure that families affected by the pandemic will not lose their housing and will be able to meet their foundational needs. Two of the families receiving rent assistance thank you below!

You are helping us maintain a safe and healthy environment for families.

  • PVSS is sustaining service provision to children and their parents experiencing homelessness in our community. 
  • We are working with local health authorities on implementing a COVID-19 prevention and response plan.  
  • We are working with families to ensure that they have access to healthcare, housing, nutritious food, employment, education, and a social safety net.

You are supporting the long-term view that families who address challenges beyond housing can maintain permanent housing and thrive long into the future. 

  • We continue to provide families with opportunities for transformative skills- and network-building so that they move into permanent housing of their own, with employment and savings. 

I am a single mom of two, Cesar and Noehmi. Before the COVID-19 crisis, I was working 10-hour days from Monday to Saturday. My adult son was working too. Because of the pandemic, they reduced my work schedule to 40 hours per week, which affected me very much because it interrupted my rhythm and put pressure on our finances. Then my son was laid off. We were no longer able to pay our rent and cover our basic needs. On top of everything, my car broke down. I was so stressed, because we were struggling to buy food and other essentials like toilet paper. When we ran out of toothpaste, I realized how vulnerable we were.

I am so grateful for your help with our rent, because this crisis has been very difficult for us. We sought rent assistance from other sources to no avail. Thank you for your help. PVSS is such a special organization. Thank you to all donors. Without you, I would feel very discouraged.

Cleotilde, PVSS Transitional Housing Mom

I lost my job within a couple of weeks after the Shelter-in-Place order. I have been looking for jobs and submitting applications ever since then. My husband Jose is still working, but his income is not enough to cover our needs as a family of 5: food and other essentials, insurance, car, telephone bills. We have a one-year old who needs diapers and other baby supplies. When the school of our 7-year-old, Alianza Charter School, closed for in-person classes, we had to get internet for our house since his learning and homework are all virtual now. The school thankfully lent him a computer. 

We thank you for helping us during this very difficult time with rent assistance. You are helping us move ahead. May everything you have given us come back to you manifold. Our kids Eduardo, Sofia, and Samantha thank you too!

Nineth, PVSS Transitional Housing Mom

Pajaro Valley Shelter Services’ 

Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Evolving Needs of Families

Pajaro Valley Shelter Services serves one- and two-parent households with children experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness. Our constituency bears the brunt of the pandemic’s health and socioeconomic consequences.

The crisis is disproportionately affecting communities of color. 89% of PVSS families are Latino/Hispanic. Low-wage and informal sector workers are losing critical employment income and face longer-term financial distress due to the pandemic. All PVSS families qualify as low-income; most are at the extremely low-income level. Those in lower economic strata, such as our target population, are more likely to have chronic health conditions that increase susceptibility to COVID-19. Those living in crowded communities – like many of the Pajaro Valley families we serve – are not able to engage in social distancing and other preventive measures. The uninsured and undocumented immigrant families that PVSS serves are lacking safe and affordable access to healthcare. For these reasons, PVSS must maintain its essential services to the most vulnerable families in our area.

PVSS families are experiencing job loss or employment interruption; inability to pay bills and rent; challenges in buying food and other necessities; lack of government support due to undocumented status; and work and childcare disruptions due to school closures. Because most of the families in our programs work their way out of homelessness, without employment, a self-sufficient future is out of reach, and at best, the future is uncertain. Families need the stability we offer at PVSS more than ever.

Needs-based Service Delivery

The pandemic is reinforcing Pajaro Valley Shelter Services’ critical role in the community: PVSS is maintaining service levels across all programs – 6-month Emergency Shelter; 1- and 2-Year Transitional Housing; and Long-Term Housing – while serving as a key partner in the coalition-based COVID-19 prevention and response in our area.

Pajaro Valley Shelter Services (PVSS) responded quickly and responsibly to the pandemic in alignment and collaboration with the coalition-based COVID-19 prevention and response in our area – in order to sustain service provision to children and their parents experiencing homelessness. PVSS is working closely with local health authorities on implementing a plan for where families can safely access services and stay if they are having symptoms, test positive for COVID-19 or are asymptomatic.

Staff are alternating time in the office during shelter-in-place. Case management meetings with families are held over the phone. Group workshops have been on hold for two months. We are currently adapting workshop content and delivery to facilitate virtual participation. Three Emergency Shelter residents are serving as 24-hour deputies overseeing the health and safety of all residents with the guidance of Shelter staff. We have prepared two isolated spaces to quarantine sick or symptomatic residents.

Family Emergency Relief

PVSS has adopted a Rent Deferment Policy and Basic Needs Assistance Policy to provide Family Emergency Relief and mitigate the effects of the pandemic on their progress to self-sufficiency.

Our Rent Deferment Policy helps us ensure that residents in our housing programs who have lost income for reasons related to COVID-19 will not lose their housing: PVSS may defer all or part of eligible residents’ rent payments for up to 6 months. Deferred rent payments will require repayment following residents return to employment based on a reasonable repayment plan, and residents who move out of our housing programs for permanent housing of their own, while still owing PVSS for deferred rent, will not be required to continue their repayment of rent in arrears.

Our Basic Needs Assistance Policy helps us ensure that residents in our shelter and housing programs who have lost income for reasons related to COVID-19 will have access to financial assistance to meet their families’ basic needs.

PVSS case managers continue to work diligently with families to ensure that they have access to healthcare, housing, nutritious food, employment, education, and a social safety net.

Financial Resilience and Uncertainty

Faced with an uncertain economic future and the realization that this crisis is both short- and long-term, our board has engaged promptly and thoughtfully in planning our response to the pandemic through the end of this FY 2019-20 and next FY 2020-21. From a growth-driven agenda for next fiscal year – in alignment with PVSS’ Strategic Plan 2019-22, the board has chosen to maintain the current health of the organization – in terms of service and staffing levels – while prioritizing families’ urgent needs – for rent deferments and basic needs assistance – and preserving the long-term financial health of PVSS. Investing in hiring essential staff has been placed on hold until January 2021 – pending reevaluation at that point in time. Likewise, a major renovation of a Long-term Housing unit has been placed on hold through next FY.

In alignment with our vision that families thrive, not just survive, under a roof of their own – PVSS is focusing on financial resilience – not only surviving the crisis but also retaining the ability to deliver on our mission in an uncertain future environment.

In March, Pajaro Valley Shelter Services launched the Family Emergency Relief Fund through our 2020 Virtual Mother’s Day Run & Walk fundraising effort, with a goal of raising $110,000. Because of you, we’ve exceeded our goal – THANK YOU! Your support empowers PVSS to respond quickly and thoughtfully in caring for the most vulnerable members of our community: children and their parents experiencing homelessness. 

The full extent of the needs of families is unknown and the economic landscape is uncertain, so our fundraising efforts continue. We thank you for your continuing support. Your donations help families during and beyond the pandemic. 

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Your donation provides the roof and foundation for a happy home.