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Racism Must End.

COVID-19 AGENCY UPDATE

Racism Must End | Our Work & Commitment

Posted on Category CEO Updates, Updates

We’ve heard a lot lately that we’re living in unprecedented times.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “fierce urgency of now” has perhaps never been more important than it is today as a call to pay attention, to wake up, and to do something. It’s hard to believe that it was over a half-century ago when Dr. King spoke those words, calling for “vigorous and positive action” for the rights of people of color.

For many in our community, the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual anguish brought on by recent events is only the most current incarnation within a lifetime of experiencing oppression in various forms. As Dr. King also said, “the riot is the language of the unheard.” It is no longer just COVID-19 bringing the pain of inequities to our awareness. It is the ugly reality of systemic and structural racism broadcast live and giving us witness to specific acts of brutality against Black people, like the murder of George Floyd, that has made the injustices in our society and in our own backyard reach what many of us see as a turning point. We cannot go back. Voice and action will create progress toward social justice.

The Community Action Partnership of over 1,000 agencies across the country stands strong against racism. Its commitment to our human family, to the diversity of all of us, resonates here at our agency:

Currently, there is no cure to the health pandemic nor the social pandemic. While we are one human family, both conditions aim to separate us, both aim to weaken us, both aim to dehumanize us and threaten our well-being. During this time of heightened social anxiety, Community Action affirms that our healing as a county and as a nation is tied to strengthening our connections as neighbors, family members, co-workers, and communities. Our values assert, “We believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect and recognize that structural race, gender, and other inequities remain barriers that must be addressed.” If we truly believe this, we must live it.

We commit ourselves to the health and well-being of everyone and to problem-solving systems and structures that will dismantle disparities and social determinants. We must move beyond social media into constructive anti-racist action that might even cause some of us to have to sacrifice comfort or advantage.

For all lives to matter, Black lives must matter. My hope is that the people of Marin County will together aspire to reflect an affluence of hope, of justice, and of peace—making this a perfect time to act and be one for all of us.

RACISM MUST END!

Read the full Community Action Partnership solidarity statement here

Community Action Together Video Series

Posted on Category CEO Updates

In Conversation with Front-Line Agencies RESPONDING IN COMMUNITY NOW

This week, our CEO was proud to speak with the National Community Action Foundation about our agency’s work. From essential worker child care and food distribution to mental health support and homeless outreach,  Community Action Marin staff, volunteers, parents, and friends are coming together to ensure that everyone has access to what they need. We know that people of color, the immigrant community, and low-income households are the hardest hit during the pandemic. We are with those in Marin County who need a step up, offering rental assistance and cash support thanks to generous donors.

Learn more about our Step Up Community Fund to see if you can be a part of the solution. Watch the video below to see what’s making an impact today!

NEW EPISODE

The National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) has created a video series entitled “Community Action Together,” and will be regularly releasing installments. Each episode will feature David Bradley in conversation with a Community Action Agency (CAA) from around the country to hear more about their agency’s community and response to the current health and economic crises. We hope these videos serve to connect CAAs during this very unusual and challenging time. This episode of the NCAF’s Community Action Together video series episode features Chandra Alexandre, Chief Executive Officer of Community Action Marin in San Rafael, CA.

 

Responding in Community | COVID-19

Posted on Category CEO Updates, UpdatesTagged

UPDATED JUNE 1, 2020

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Community,

We are looking ahead at how we can best serve and center community as news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and impact continues. We are looking at Marin Recovers and are concerned about mental health and the abundant inequities facing communities of low income, undocumented workers, child care operators, immigrant communities, and communities of color.  We are working hard in response to create more programs, raise awareness, and deploy more resources for those in need.  Thanks to generous community support, we continue to ensure that rental assistance, individual cash grants, homeless outreach, and mental health supports strengthen. To date, we have delivered and secured over $2M in resources for those most in need. I invite you to join us!

We are also taking measures to support our employees and are extremely grateful for all who have stepped up to support Marin County at this time. Thank you donors like you, we are able to make new services and supports available through our Step Up Community Fund.

DONATE to our step up community fund

Bookmark this page so that you can get the latest insights about our most current operations. On this page you will find additional guidance about our agency’s response and services. Community Action Marin is open in solidarity with community and other human service agencies in the county.

Are You a Community Member Impacted Directly by COVID-19 and Shelter-in-Place?

Take our survey so that we can better understand and meet your needs.

Take Our community survey

Here is what you need to know about our response:

  • Our Home Office at 555 Northgate Drive in San Rafael will continue to provide client intake over the phone (415-526-7500) and homeless outreach county-wide, as well as safety net services such as rental assistance, utility assistance, and emergency food boxes. We will also continue to offer financial coaching services (appointments available) and mental health supports. We are looking at a July 1, 2020 re-open date with designated community hours. Stay tuned for details. 
  • Agency Orientations are paused through June 30, 2020 and all registered participants are being notified and rescheduled. We are working on rolling out virtual agency orientations in English and Spanish. Call our home office to register as these come online.
  • Census2020 support will continue for 0-5 and homeless hard-to-count populations through our CARE Teams and emergency child care workers as we coordinate with others throughout the county. Questionnaire Assistance Centers are not open at this time but phone-in support to ensure you get the help you need is available. See details below.
  • Warm Line Emotional Support is availale 7 days a week. Operating since March 23rd (English), our telephone peer mental health support services are open from 9am to 12am (midnight) every day. If you or someone you know is feeling isolated, depressed, or anxious, call us at 415-459-6330 to speak with someone and get the emotional support you need. We launched our Spanish Warm Line this month and now have operations every day. Take a look at hours and number here.
  • Questions? Call: 415-526-7500 to get all other questions answered and information to meet your needs. We are coordinating with the county, other community-based organizations, and the emergency response office to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our staff and families. At this time, we are requesting that callers leave only one message to ensure that our staff can keep up with messages and a timely response.

Rent Help & Cash Assistance

Rental Assistance help is available; please call only one agency if you are looking for rental assistance. Call 415-473-7191 to see if you are eligible. NOTE: Marin County has a ban on evictions through June 30th. Learn more about the county’s efforts to prevent homelessness here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RENTAL ASSISTANCE & CASH GRANTS
  • Is Rental Assistance still available? Background: The County of Marin and Marin Community Foundation provided $650,000 in Emergency Rental Assistance for the month of April. This amount was quickly used and more funds came online thanks to generous donors and the county in May. We continue to coordinate efforts across Marin to ensure that those in need of support get the help they need.
  • How do families apply? Families must call the County of Marin’s COVID-19 Information Line (415) 473-7191. A waiting list has been created and people will be contacted in the order that they have called. Please let people know that it may take a while before they get a return call as all agencies are experiencing a very high volume of calls.
  • Will Rental Assistance be available in May? All applications for the month of April will be processed before May rent is paid. May assistance is now available and we are working with the county to go through the waitlist of those in need. Thank you for your patience.
  • Are other Rental Assistance funds available? A number of different agencies throughout Marin are providing rental assistance not only through this fund but using other resources. If you hear that requirements are different at different agencies or that some agencies are providing more than one month’s rent, it is because they are using other funds. This fund pays for rent only. No deposits, no mortgages, no hotel stays or other non-traditional living situations.
  • Is Deposit Assistance available? Yes. Community Action Marin has Season of Sharing funds available for deposits. Families can still call the same agencies on the Season of Sharing referral list, but when they call, they should make sure to say that they are calling for DEPOSIT assistance, so they don’t end up on the rental wait list.
  • Cash Assistance has been provided to over 435 clients already based on prioritized income and need. We continue to invite donations to support the community, especially for those in our immigrant community and low-wage essential workers who face tremendous challenges now. Households will be contacted this week thanks to generous donors at the Marin Community Foundation.

Children and Family Services Update

Regular child care services offered through Head Start, Early Head Start, and our Child Development Program are paused through June 30th. We do have spaces available for essential workers. Contact: Kelsey Lombardi at klombardi@camarin.org to learn more. 

  • Healthy Meals. We continue to provide each enrolled child across our programs with healthy meals. Drive through for Brown Bag lunches available for pickup Monday (for Monday and Tuesday), Wednesday (for Wednesday and Thursday) and Friday 10-11:30am. Cereal, fruits, yogurt, and other items are available regularly as well, enough for your family. We are also delivering to Marin City daily. Families, please check your text messages for details and ongoing updates. If you are an enrolled family and have questions, email us at cam@camarin.org.
  • Essential Worker Child Care. We are providing essential workers’ families with child care support and will keep community updated as more services become available. We are working to open additional classrooms for all essential workers and children with special needs or at-risk during this challenging time.

Please check our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute information as the situation unfolds. We are also sharing some health resources for all community here (Spanish), (Mandarin), and (English) from our partner Kaiser Permanente.

Need Food?

Here are two great resources to find what you need.

Census 2020 & Tax Update

Stay informed and ensure you respond to your census form online or on the phone.

 

  • 2019 Taxes. The tax filing deadline has been extended until July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. See the announcement from the IRS here . As soon as the agency reopens, we will resume our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) filing services.  Contact Debbie Brown to learn more.NOTE: The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced on April 1 that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an economic impact payment. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 to generate $1,200 economic impact payments to Social Security beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Treasury, not Social Security, will make automatic payments to Social Security beneficiaries.  Beneficiaries will receive these payments by direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their Social Security benefits. For updates from the IRS, visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
  • Census 2020 has been extended and work will continue through fall (October). Help us get needed resources to Marin County. You, your children, your elders, and everyone in hour household counts! Would you like to volunteer? Sign up now!

We are with you, and I look forward to healthy days as we support one another by following healthy hygiene protocols like good hand washing and following all shelter-in-place guidelines. Thank you for all you are doing to support your families, neighbors, and loved ones. We’re in your corner during this difficult time.

In solidarity,

Chandra AlexandreChief Executive Officer

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