Neighborhood Trust recently partnered with SaverLife to distribute $1,000 checks generously funded by Humanity Forward to Bronx residents financially impacted by the coronavirus.
Our clients are among the hardest hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic, the hardest to reach, and most likely to be unsupported by the government’s relief efforts. They are small business owners, gig workers, healthcare workers. They are immigrants, documented and undocumented. They are working parents who unexpectedly have to pay for childcare now that school is closed. They are children who now have to support parents who are out of work. They are overloaded by credit card and student loan debt and wondering how they’re going to pay their rent. They are weary of a financial system that has taken advantage of them far too many times.
The $1,000 our clients received has been a lifeline for so many, a sign of hope when things were bleak.
What follows is a snapshot of the people who received these grants and their personal impact stories of how.
From the Epicenter of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Stats and Stories of Bronx Residents Selected to Receive $1,000 Grants
Who Are They?
How do they plan on spending the $1,000?
Set aside some cash for future expenses related to food and medical expenses
Make smaller partial payments on large bills, such as the rent
Stabilize utilities like cell phone and ConEd
How has the crisis affected them financially?
More mouths to feed at home
Supporting older parents or other family members
Saving on eating out and other entertainment and activities
Spending more on online shopping
Paying more for online education programs or faster internet at home
of recipients reported not having any savings when the crisis hit
of recipients have had their family’s earnings significantly reduced or lost in its entirety due to the coronavirus crisis
of recipients applied for unemployment
of recipients applied for SNAP (food stamps)
What recommended actions are they likely to do to help navigate their finances during this crisis?
Requesting waived late fees
Documenting the disruptions to their income and budget, as well as all of their efforts to manage their obligations
Requesting changes to due dates
Proactively communicating their plans to their creditors, if possible
“I have a handyman service where I am the only employee. I was extremely busy before this crisis hit and still have some unfinished work that is incomplete due to fear of my client or me getting the virus. I had to stop work because my work was not considered essential. This crisis stopped my income completely, and I really don’t know what to do. I am hoping everything goes back to normal ASAP.”
“Currently both my husband and I are unemployed. We both have a history of cancer, him prostate cancer and myself lung cancer. We are very concerned and are trying our best to remain healthy.”
“From the bottom of my heart, you all have been amazing in keeping our population in account…it’s something that will never be forgotten. Keep up the good work, and I hope you can continue to transform lives the same way you have assisted with mine.”
“My company is a small architectural and interior design firm in the Bronx. During this pandemic and quarantine, it’s been difficult for us to meet our current clients as well as to meet new clients. The check has enabled us to continue to pay for business expenses and utilities and is actually helping to keep our company afloat during these times. Thank you for all the work that you do for all the other small businesses who received funding during this time.”
“Covid-19 has impacted my business because I am part of the service industry and had to close my doors. At the present time I am not able to service clients. Right now I am just living day to day and hoping some clients come soon. My phone is about to get cut off, and I am just cutting back on groceries and transportation. I’m really just holding on to every dime while still trying to conduct business like buying products and making sure I have enough towels clean and ready for business.”
“I am a self employed online seller. I buy merchandise for my business from in-person stores. All of my inventory sources are closed. Without new inventory for my online business, I don’t make any money. Once the Stay At Home orders were implemented, my sales took a nose dive. I don’t sell essentials so with so many people losing their jobs they are less likely to buy the merchandise I do have currently available. I really need financial help. My rent is due and other bills and I’m just not able to pay them.”
“My family members have lost their jobs so we are coping with what we have. We have applied for SNAP and they are trying to get through for unemployment benefits. I am the only one working from home, but only two days a week.”
“All of us who received the payment, it made a really positive impact on our lives. Whether you use it for rent, electricity, or groceries—it just takes the weight off our shoulders a little bit.”
“I wasn’t expecting to receive this money, so it felt important to me to share it and distribute to the community. I am so thankful because without this, I would be at $0 in my bank account right now.”
“COVID-19 has completely stopped my daughter’s early intervention services. She was recently placed on the autism spectrum and every day of therapy is crucial to her. I’ve been trying my best as a parent to do different forms of therapy to try to help her to learn. It’s been giving me endless amounts of anxiety and restlessness. This has been very hard for me being a single mother to a two-year-old on the autism spectrum.”
“I am out of work and can’t provide for me or my family. It’s a challenging time when I can’t provide like I used to.”
“I’m in the South Bronx and we’re getting hit so hard. We ran out of food stamps two weeks ago and have only had $5 cash for two weeks. Getting $1,000 is such a blessing. When I got the text I broke down crying because there was no other help.”