SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County officials unveiled an emergency fund Monday designed to help low-income residents and families pay for rent and other basic needs during the growing coronavirus crisis.

Officials said the more than $11 million program was being funded by public money and donations from more than a dozen leading Silicon Valley firms. It will be administered by Sacred Heart Community Service in conjunction with its county-wide Homelessness Prevention System partners. The already in place infrastructure will receive applications, verify eligibility, and disburse funds quickly.

Among the private donors were:

  • $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 Enterprise

“I’ve been really impressed with all of our peer companies in the valley who have stepped up,” said Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco.

Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose are expected to approve a contribution of $2 million dollars each at their respective March 24 meetings.

“The fund is operational, and we need more people to step up. We need more individuals, we need more philanthropists, we need more corporations to give, and giver generously,” said Silicon Valley Community Foundation President and CEO Nicole Taylor.

At the weekly food distribution at the Vietnamese American Community Center in East San Jose, Kaytanna Alvarido is receiving a food donation for the first time after losing her job as a nanny because of the pandemic. She is worried about making ends meet.

“It’s stressful thinking that I might lose my home,” said Alvarido. “Just trying to discuss with our landlord, ‘Hey, this is the best that we can do.’ And our landlord was actually really considerate.”

Alvarido is worried about being able to afford fall tuition for college and hopes she qualifies for the financial assistance.

“It’s just honestly we as community need to share what we have with each other and not just hoard everything, if possible,” said Alvarido, “Including money.”

COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Officials said there were 3 criteria to be eligible.

  • You must be a resident of Santa Clara County
  • Your household income must be less than 80% of the average median income (AMI) — Size household and income: 1 person (72,750); 2 people ($83,150); 3 people ($93,550); 4 people ($103,900); 5 people ($112,250); 6 people ($120,500); 7 people ($128,850); 8 people ($137,150)
  • You must have a documented loss of income related to COVID-19 impacts due to health, employment, or school/child care closures

Officials said eligible households would receive direct financial assistance, based on documented loss of income as a result of COVID-19 impacts with a maximum of $4,000 per month.

Residents can apply:

  • In-person: Appointments can also be arranged by calling the hotline.

Due to the large volume of requests expected, households with internet access are encouraged to apply for assistance online. While staff will be working to respond as quickly as possible, it could take up to two to three business days to notify residents on the status of their application.

Kiet Do contributed to this story.

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