805 Undocufund sends out first round of stimulus checks to undocumented families
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
by Laura Place
(For the full article visit the website linked below)
Published in the Santa Ynez Valley News
Undocumented families on the Central Coast are beginning to receive donation-funded stimulus checks of $1,200 from the nonprofit disaster relief group 805 Undocufund — an effort to assist those who are ineligible for federal aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Founded in 2017 by local grassroots community organizations, 805 Undocufund has raised over $1 million since the end of March to cover stimulus checks for families and individuals in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, with thousands of individuals applying to receive aid.
Future Leaders of America, the McCune Foundation, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) and Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) originally created the fund to assist undocumented individuals affected by the Thomas fire and Montecito mudslides, raising over $2 million for affected families.
While 805 Undocufund organizers conducted applicant interviews in person during prior disasters, the higher demand extending into northern Santa Barbara County along with social distancing concerns caused them to switch to a virtual process, Gaona-Macedo said.
The organization reached a milestone on Friday by sending out its first 75 checks to families, and organizers are working through another 200 interviews scheduled this week. Their goal is to process checks every two weeks, Gaona-Macedo said.
"This is the first time we’re going to be serving folks in north Santa Barbara County, as previous disasters have been in south Santa Barbara County," he said.
While a state aid package for undocumented individuals is underway, organizers said the funds are not enough to provide the needed assistance for the state's undocumented population, estimated to be near 2.5 million people.