COVID-19 Response & Resources
Enlace in Action
Community Response and Resources
In response to COVID 19, Enlace offices and many of its programs are and will be closed until May 31st. Staff will continue to be available, but working remotely. We are working to offer as many resources as possible during these challenging times.
Enlace Chicago has committed to maintain all staff, the vast majority of whom are community residents, on payroll through this crisis, including part-time and stipend-based staff. Staff are responding to the crisis in a variety of ways, being creative about outreach efforts to the Little Village community, while safeguarding their health and wellbeing.
Enlace school-based teams were making calls to check in with program participants and their families and working to support virtual learning; Safe Passage employees distributed meals and masks to families at CPS sites, with New Life Centers, and in coordination with 22nd Ward Office; Street Outreach workers continued to respond to incidents of violence in the neighborhood and an unfortunate fire; Enlace mental health teams have been offering continued support through tele-therapy and online peer groups; Community Health Promoters continued to share health and other resources with community members and run a hotline. Census outreach efforts served as an additional opportunity to check in with families. Census outreach workers organized a vehicle parade through the neighborhood, in which participants could join but remain safely in their vehicles, while displaying Census 2020 signs to encourage families to fill it out. More than 1000 families were contacted in the first week of the crisis, and Enlace staff continue to follow up on a regular basis with these families. Enlace has distributed more than 20,000 masks and is working with a group of community organizations to further encourage residents to stay home through a campaign Vamos a Cuidar Nuestro Tesoro en Casa.
Enlace is driving calls to two hotlines, including Enlace’s Community Health Promoter hotline (773-669-5490) and Enlace’s legal partner Beyond Legal Aid (872-267-2252) for immigration related advice.
Enlace teams have been putting together some fabulous videos for community members during this time. Here are a few:
Enlace's Facebook page has become a resource distribution channel. Please follow the page for information, resources, and policy advocacy action steps: https://www.facebook.com/enlacechicago
Enlace has been rolling out an emergency assistance fund for program participants and community members in Little Village. In April, in just 48 hours, Enlace collected 258 unduplicated applications for its Little Village Emergency Assistance Fund. Approximately 40% of applicants were single parents, 60% had lost a job, 85% had no health insurance and 89% were at risk of losing stable housing.Enlace is working to fund all requests and open a new application. In addition to funding, families are being offered comprehensive referrals and support from Enlace staff. Second Federal Savings Bank, a division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union and a trusted neighborhood bank, is distributing funds to recipients, making it easy for families to access their checks via the bank’s drive-thru.See more information on our fund below.
Little Village has quickly become one of the most impacted community in Illinois, in both economic hardship and confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. We know that we have been hit hard because of systemic conditions that have negatively impacted the community long before COVID-19. Enlace is working with partners toward the following policy measures meant to protect workers, immigrants, undocumented people, the uninsured, renters, communities of color, and low income people across Chicago and Illinois:
Enlace supports ICIRR's “Everybody In: A People’s Platform for Relief, Recovery and Transformation.” This platform demands action on four pillars to address immediate needs while bringing about transformational solutions to permanently address the failures that this crisis has laid bare:
1. Health access for all
2. Economic security for all
3. Ensure the safety of all persons in detention and incarceration, and
4. Keep all people away from harm and away from ICE
Enlace recently joined in the Right to Recovery campaign, calling for comprehensive actions to address COVID-19 in the most impacted communities. The demands of this campaign include:
THE RIGHT TO SAFE WORKING CONDITIONS
THE RIGHT TO HOUSING
THE RIGHT TO HEALTHCARE
THE RIGHT TO PUBLIC EDUCATION
THE RIGHT TO INCOME SECURITY
THE RIGHT TO FAMILY & COMMUNITY
Enlace has continued participation in the Home is Here Campaign.
In the weeks ahead, the Supreme Court will determine whether to permit the Trump administration to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Given the unprecedented COVID related challenges facing America, we hope that the Court will delay a decision and spare DACA recipients from potential exposure to an additional existential crisis. But in order to ensure that there is a strong, unified response in the event of a negative Court decision, we are circulating a sign-on statement calling upon the Administration to keep DACA renewals open and to refrain from deporting DACA recipients while Congress works toward a more permanent solution.
Enlace supports the efforts of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) in their campaign against the Hilco development, which led to a devastating and environmentally disastrous implosion which spread dust across the community during a respiratory-illness pandemic. Sign their petition here, and learn more about their efforts.
Enlace supports #massreleasenow, especially the release of prisoners at Cook County Jail, which is located in our community and where COVID-19 cases have soared, and of all immigrant detention centers around the country.
Alongside Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, ACCESS Living, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and others, Enlace has called on the City of Chicago to create a City of Chicago-Funded cash assistance program to save lives and aid the recovery in our communities. The fund would specifically support undocumented people, "unbanked" people, and people returning to our communities from prison.
Enlace continues to promote Census completion in Little Village through a team of Census Promotores and its social media platforms.
Enlace has signed on to the follow letters related to health equity, healthcare access and food access during the pandemic:
Letter from the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School to the Trump Administration and 18 State AGs requesting that they drop their case with the Supreme Court, California v. Texas, that puts the Affordable Care Act at risk of being struck down entirely during a pandemic.
Letter from UnidosUS, Community Catalyst, and National Health Law Program to Members of Congress asking that they become cosponsors of the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2020 to eliminate barriers to coverage, expand access to affordable health care and target investments that strengthen the health care system so that it works for all, especially for individuals living at the intersections, in order to eliminate health disparities. HEAA is the only legislation that directly addresses the intersections of health disparities and immigration status, age, disability, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, language, and socio-economic status.
Letters from Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and Trust for America's Health to HHS and Senate/House leadership demanding COVID-19 data equity, including COVID-19 demographic data collection in order to understand and respond to the disproportionate impact this public health crisis is having on communities of color.
Letters to White House and Senate/House leadership to advocate for strengthened SNAP program, specifically requesting to increase the maximum benefit available to all households by 15 percent, increase the minimum benefit from $16 to $30, and delay the implementation of proposed and final rules that the Administration has issued for SNAP.
Letter to Senate/House leadership advocating for increased access to food for families through expanding SNAP, WIC and the new PEBT benefits, and more funding and protective equipment to support and protect the health of staff providing school food to families during the pandemic.
Enlace 's Little Village Emergency Assistance Fund
COVID-19 is impacting everyone but, in Little Village, the impact is potentially devastating. Many of our families are not eligible for federal stimulus funds, many have lost employment without access to unemployment benefits, and others are "essential workers" who are risking their own family's safety for the benefit of everyone else. We can't cure COVID-19 and we can't fix every system that is creating inequality in the response or the burden. However, we can work together to fight for equity, representation and relief for our community. One of the many ways that we need to do that is by raising funds for families with critical needs, especially those most impacted and with the least access to other resources.
Enlace's Little Village Emergency Assistance Fund will provide emergency funds to Enlace participants and participant referrals from partner organizations who are undocumented or in mixed-status families who have been impacted by COVID-19. They will be able to use these funds to cover basic needs (food, clothes, diapers, etc), utilities (essential bills), and rent/mortgage or other housing expenses.
Enlace began taking assistance applications early April, and despite limiting distribution of the application to Enlace participants and those of a limited number of partner agencies, in a 48 hour application period Enlace was flooded with requests. More than 200 families are being granted funds in this 1st round of funding. Seventeen (17) families were also granted emergency funds through Enlace's partnership with #givetogethernow and the Latino Policy Forum and Illinois Action for Children. A second round of applications will open in May. Enlace hopes to grant aid to more than 650 families. Thank you for your patience as we work diligently to get resources to our community.
A special thank you to our community for the enormous outpouring of support, especially the 250 individuals who have donated to us directly. We would also like to thank the Marguerite Casey Foundation, Chicago Community Covid19 Response Fund, Square One Foundation, #Givetogethernow, Illinois Action for Children, Latino policy Forum, Center for Community Health (Northwestern University), Healthy Communities Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the NFL Foundation and Players Coalition, A Better Chicago, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Please donate to support emergency relief efforts:
Here are some other fundraising and emergency relief efforts supporting Little Village residents:
Resources for Community
This comprehensive Little Village resource list is maintained by Unete, Community Development Committee of Little Village