When No Public Means No Paycheck

When my library closed on March 17 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was told there would be no work for me until we reopened. I left work early that day so that I could go home and apply for unemployment before the website shut down at 6 p.m. I had received no information from my employer about my financial options in the wake of the closure, only a list of numbers to call for mental health services. I didn’t know what my options were other than applying for unemployment and hoping I would qualify. I am not alone.

graphic of person standing on dollar sign in the water, throwing out a life vest to person in the waterWhen my library closed on March 17 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was told there would be no work for me until we reopened. I left work early that day so that I could go home and apply for unemployment before the website shut down at 6 p.m. I had received no information from my employer about my financial options in the wake of the closure, only a list of numbers to call for mental health services. I didn’t know what my options were other than applying for unemployment and hoping I would qualify.

I am not alone.

Unemployment is skyrocketing in the wake of COVID-19, and applications for unemployment benefits have increased by more than 33 percent in the past week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Historically, people eligible for unemployment benefits must be able to prove one of the following:

  • They lost their job “through no fault of their own,” or;
  • They quit their job for a “qualifying reason,” which may vary from state to state.

Furthermore, applicants must prove week to week that they are seeking new employment in order to receive payments.

Due to the massive uptick in COVID-19 related layoffs, however, state governments throughout the United States are expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits in a number of ways. California and Ohio have waived the requirement to be actively searching for a new job; New York and Minnesota have waived the “waiting week” period between filing for unemployment and when one can request benefits; Michigan has extended eligibility to workers who have “unexpected family care responsibility,” such as children at home during the day as a result of school closures.

I’m a librarian. I like making lists and sharing resources. So after I applied for unemployment, I started compiling a list of financial resources for myself and other out of work friends and coworkers.

So, from one librarian to so many others, whether you’re in financial need yourself or looking to make contributions, the following is an incomplete list of mutual aid and other financial resources available to you throughout the United States, many of which were sourced from It’s Going Down, a digital community center for anarchists and anticapitalists. If you have others to suggest, please add them in the comments!

 

NATIONWIDE

United Way

United Way Community Resources

211 COVID-19 OR call 211 for information on how to get help in your area

COVID-19 Relief Fund for Military Veterans

Find Your Local Food Bank

Find Childcare and Childcare Assistance

Find Unemployment Benefits

Where to Find Financial Relief During Coronavirus COVID-19

What do I do if I lose my job-based health insurance?

How can I apply for food stamps?

How do I apply for Medicaid and CHIP?

 

ALABAMA

Birmingham Mutual Aid

 

ARIZONA

Covid19 Mutual Aid Phoenix  (#covid19mutualaidphx)

 

ARKANSAS

Northwest Arkansas Mutual Aid

 

CALIFORNIA

California Childcare Resource and Referral

South Bay Mutual Aid Volunteer Intake

West Oakland Punks with Lunch

East Bay Disabled Folks COVID19 Support Request Form

San Francisco Disabled/Seniors COVID19 Support Request form

Berkeley Mutual Aid Network

Contra Costa County - COVID19 Mutual Aid

COVID19 Monterey Peninsula Mutual Aid Project

Antelope Valley Mutual Aid form

San Diego (county-wide) COVID-19 Mutual Aid form

COVID Santa Cruz County Aid Fund

Shasta Regional Community COVID-19 Relief Fund

Covid 19 Mutual Aid Network - Los Angeles

 

COLORADO

The ShareHouse Community Food Center

 

CONNECTICUT

Stratford Mutual Aid

 

DC

DC Mutual Aid Network

DC Mutual Aid spreadsheet (check all tabs)

 

FLORIDA

SummerBreakSpot Food for Kids

 

GEORGIA

Food 4 Life

 

IOWA

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Des Moines

 

ILLINOIS

Chicago Artists Relief Fund

Brave Space Alliance - Covid19 Response

 

INDIANA

Bloomington Mutual Aid

 

KENTUCKY

OneLouisville COVID-19 Response Fund

 

LOUISIANA

Bvlbancha Collective

NOLA Covid 19 Mutual Aid

 

MARYLAND

Baltimore Mutual Aid and Emergency Relief Fund

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston Community Support Network

Mutual Aid Jamaica Plain & Roxbury

 

MICHIGAN

Grand Rapids Mutual Aid Spreadsheet

 

MINNESOTA

Twin Cities Queer and Trans Mutual Aid Fund

Abolition Action Grocery Fund

Women for Political Change

Flatten the Curve Rochester

 

MISSOURI

St. Louis Mutual Aid Group

 

MONTANA

Bozeman Solidarity

COVID Missoula

 

NEBRASKA

Lincoln/Omaha Mutual Aid

 

NEVADA

Las Vegas Mutual Aid Fund

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Seacoast Mutual Aid Spreadsheet

 

NEW JERSEY

North New Jersey Mutual Aid

 

NEW MEXICO

Albuquerque Mutual Aid

EarthCare COVID-19 Response

 

NEW YORK

NYC United Against Coronavirus

 

NORTH CAROLINA

Chapel Hill Food Not Bombs

Asheville Survival Program

Covid 19 Mutual Aid in Durham, NC

 

OHIO

Cleveland Pandemic Response

 

OREGON

Lane county Mutual Aid Network - COVID19 response

PDX COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Philly Mutual Aid - Neighbors Helping Neighbors

 

RHODE ISLAND

Providence Mutual Aid

 

TENNESSEE

First Aid Collective of Knoxville

 

TEXAS

North Texas Mutual Aid

Covid 19 Resources for San Antonio Residents

 

UTAH

Covid19 Mutual Aid - Salt Lake Valley

 

VERMONT

Peace & Justice Center Vermont

 

VIRGINIA

Corona Aid 757

Northern Virginia Supply Exchange

 

WASHINGTON

Employment Security Department of Washington State

COVID 19 Resources for Community

Covid 19 Mutual Aid - Seattle

Snohomish Mutual Aid

Kitsap Community Aid

Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective

Olympia Mutual Aid Collective

 

WISCONSIN

COVID19 Mutual Aid - Madison

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