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April 2, 2020

Silicon Valley leaders launch $11M coronavirus relief fund

By Grace Hase

As low-income families in Santa Clara County are crippled by the economic impacts of COVID-19 through lost hours and wages, nonprofits, public agencies and Silicon Valley’s private sector are banding together to help.

The Santa Clara County Homeless Prevention System on March 23 launched an $11 million relief fund to assist residents with rent and other basic needs.

In order to qualify for the program, applicants must have a household income less than 80 percent of the area median income—typically $103,900 for a family of four—and be able to document financial losses due to COVID-19.

So far, 11 nonprofits and businesses have kicked in money to help fund the program:

  • $2 million from Cisco
  • $1.5 million from Western Digital
  • $1 million from Adobe
  • $1 million from Destination: Home
  • $500,000 from Zoom
  • $500,000 from Broadcom
  • $300,000 from Micron
  • $150,000 from Facebook
  • $100,000 from Infosys
  • $100,000 from Silver Lake
  • $100,000 from Hewlett Packard Enterprises

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the San Jose City Council will also be voting at their March 24 meetings to allocate an additional $2 million each to the fund.

“We are hoping that this allows direct financial assistance to alleviate the immediate financial crisis during this period of emergency in Santa Clara County,” said Chad Bojorquez, the senior director of initiatives for Destination: Home.

Households that fit the program criteria will be eligible to receive up to $4,000 a month and can request assistance once a month as long as the local health emergency lasts and as long as funds are available.

“The only way we get through this is if we do so together, so it’s up to all of us to help keep families in their homes during this difficult time,” Facebook spokesperson Chloe Meyere said in a statement. “We’re proud to support Destination: Home’s work to prevent homelessness, and will continue seizing every opportunity to support our neighbors struggling with the impact of COVID-19.”

The fund is part of Silicon Valley’s latest efforts to pull together amid the coronavirus outbreak. Last week elected officials and nonprofit leaders announced the launch of Silicon Valley Strong. The website is currently connecting volunteers with nonprofits that are in desperate need of help with sorting, packing and delivering food to seniors and low-income residents throughout the county.

To apply for assistance, visit destinationhomesv.org/2020/03/covid-19-initiative or call 408.780.9134.

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