We’re in this Together
Under COVID-19, immigrants face steep income inequality. Help us raise $200,000 to keep them fed, housed, and afloat.
For many of Philly’s immigrants and refugees, life under COVID-19 is an unending nightmare. With cascading consequences of job and income loss, food and housing insecurity, and educational and health outcome disparities, their hard-won new lives are smashing into pieces.
At Nationalities Service Center (NSC), we’ve seen it firsthand: clients who were scraping by before the pandemic are now plunging into desperation, wondering how they’ll survive this fall and winter.
Since the start of the crisis, hunger has soared, with 5 times as many people seeking food assistance from NSC. More than half have lost income. 70% of laid-off workers have been ineligible for any unemployment relief, while two-thirds of those still employed are risking their health as essential workers. 36% owe back rent, and more than a quarter owe back bills. School-age children are falling behind their peers, often unable to access available support due to lack of technology and language access resources. Meanwhile, clients are seeking mental health support in record numbers, telling us they’re terrified about their futures.
The need is tremendous. NSC is standing strong, pivoting our services to provide immigrants with the sustenance and emergency interventions they need to weather this long-ranging storm but we need your help. Here’s what we’re doing right now:
Delivering culturally respectful food: We’re delivering boxes of food to our most vulnerable families every month. These boxes contain 55 pounds of dried grains and legumes, fresh produce, and specialized ingredients, reflecting disparate regions of the world. For vulnerable families, this program is a nutritional lifeline.
Keeping families housed: In an effort to keep clients housed, we’re negotiating with landlords, connecting clients to public rent assistance, and covering rent payments.
Linking clients to healthcare: We’re educating people about COVID-19 in many languages, and linking clients to linguistically-appropriate medical care.
Supporting mental health: We’re providing teletherapy in many languages, and have launched support groups to help children, youth, and parents to help lessen social isolation.
Helping families navigate virtual learning: We’ve launched a tutoring program to keep immigrant kids on track, distributed kids’ books and backpacks, given out Chromebooks to kids who need them, and partnered with the City and Comcast to get low-cost Internet to schoolkids. We’re partnering with Council for Relationships to run support groups for overwhelmed parents.
Getting clients back to work: We’re finding jobs for laid-off clients, providing gift cards to cover transportation and uniform costs, and distributing cloth masks sewn by a group of refugees.
“I decided to make a meaningful gift to NSC, not because it was easy to do, but because it felt right and necessary. I couldn’t stand the thought of immigrant families losing everything while knowing that my sons and I have what we need to survive this terrifying time.” —NSC donor
At NSC, we recognize and appreciate that many of us are struggling right now. If you’re in a position to do so, we invite you to dig deep and help us get to $200,000 in our “We’re in this Together” fund. 100% of your gift will go directly to immigrants and refugees.