Unless your job is considered "essential," or you have the ability/opportunity to work remotely, odds are that you've lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Americans have had to deal with a sudden loss of income, and those who are eligible for it have been forced to collect unemployment. This is certainly a time of heightened stress, doubt, and uncertainty. For most, the future is still unknown. You may be worrying about how you are going to keep up with bills, rent, groceries, etc., especially if you aren't able to go back to work soon. The good news is that there are numerous emergency financial assistance programs across the country, offering grants and funds to those who are experiencing financial hardships during this unprecedented time. Here is a list of some of the grants being offered:
The USBG National Charity Foundation's Bartender Emergency Assistance Program - for individuals who have been employed as a bartender for at least one year with a part-time or full-time status. Spouses and children of bartenders are also eligible.
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund - offering cash assistance to restaurant workers and delivery drivers, and those who work in salons, airports, and ride share companies. It also applies to other tipped employees and service workers.
Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation partnered with Southern Smoke Foundation for their COVID-19 Relief Fund - offered to anyone who works at or owns a bar or restaurant and has experienced financial hardship.
Samuel Adams & the Greg Hill Foundation Restaurant Strong Fund - offering $1,000 grants to full-time restaurant, bar, cafe, and nightclub workers in 20 states.
Pen America Writers' Emergency Fund - for fiction and non-fiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, and journalists. Applicants need proof of professional credentials to be considered.
Artist Relief - distributing $5,000 grants to artists facing financial emergencies.
Recording Academy Musicares COVID-19 Relief Fund - for those who have lost income due to musical gigs and performances being cancelled.
CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund - currently raising and distributing funds for those in the fashion industry who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Movemeant Foundation's COVID-19 Relief Fund - offering up to $1,000 for gym/wellness coaches and instructors so they may continue their businesses digitally.
Every Library Institute's HALO (Help a Library Worker Out) Fund - offering grants up to $250 for library workers.
The Workers Fund - for gig and low-earning contract workers (who don't have access to employer-based benefits.)
Freelancers Relief Fund - up to $1,000 per household for anyone who earns their income from freelance work.
Keep in mind that many of these relief funds have eligibility requirements, and may ask you for proof of things such as prior/current income, loss of employment/hours, inability to pay bills, etc.. If you don't see a fund on this list that applies to you, this website has the most in-depth list of emergency financial resources for non-profits, individuals, artists, and small businesses.
This is a difficult time for all of us. While you may feel helpless when it comes to your work, education, or finances right now, there IS help out there. One of these emergency relief grants could be your ticket to ensuring that your next bill gets paid and that there is food on the table.
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