Thousands of low-income San Diego County families and seniors still suffering hardships caused by COVID-19 may be eligible to receive a one-time payment of $4,000 to help them recover.
San Diego County and Jewish Family Service Leaders announced the Recovery Action Fund for Tomorrow (RAFT) program in early May to help low-income people living in the 39 county zip codes hit hardest by the pandemic. Families and people can apply for the funds through Sunday, May 21 at midnight.
“At the height of the pandemic, I heard firsthand about the hardships people were going through as they tried to make ends meet and stay in their homes. We know that struggle continues for many. We want this money to help people overcome those hardships,” said county chairwoman Nora Vargas during a press conference at the Count Administration Center.
The RAFT program is developed by the Jewish Family Service, and funded by the county with Federal American Rescue Act funds to help those who earn less than 200% of the federal poverty level. This means people and families whose income ranges from $29,180 a year for a single person to $60,000 for a family of four may be eligible.
“We know that direct cash assistance programs are a very effective and efficient way to reduce poverty and increase equity in our communities, and we look forward to working on RAFT with the County,” said Khea Pollard, director of Economic Mobility And Opportunity for Jewish Family Service.
The program requires applicants to provide documents that show they are eligible, including their identification and proof of household income levels. People can get full information about the program, find out if they are eligible, and apply on the Jewish Family Service web page.
According to county officials, 2,250 families or people will be selected randomly from the pool of applicants by Jewish Family Service to receive the money. Recipients of the one-time payment may receive the funds directly to their bank account, Venmo/PayPal accounts, or gig work platforms and use the money as they see fit.