Published in Economic Development

West Michigan groups launch fund to support undocumented workers amid pandemic

BY MIBIZ STAFF Thursday, April 23, 2020 10:37am

 Eight organizations united to create an emergency relief fund for undocumented workers and mixed status families in Kent County who are ineligible for unemployment or other relief.

La Lucha Fund will help families pay for basic needs such as rent, groceries, cleaning supplies and medicine. The organizations behind the fund say fears of deportation or barriers such as language proficiency and lack of knowledge of institutions.

Lorena Aguayo-Márquez, volunteer organizer for Movimiento Cosecha GR and Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network COURTESY PHOTO

“The lucha is all of us working together to support people who systems are leaving behind. This is just the beginning of not only fighting COVID-19, but also for dignity and respect,” said Lorena Aguayo-Márquez, volunteer organizer for Movimiento Cosecha GR and Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network.

Movimiento Cosecha GR and the Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network collaborated on the La Lucha Fund with The Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, the Latino Community Coalition, Latina Network of West Michigan, West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the West Michigan Latino Network.

More than 13,000 people who are undocumented live in Kent County, according to 2016 data from the Gateways for Growth initiative.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor for the fund and is processing donations. The Community Foundation also contributed an initial $100,000 to the fund. 

Applications in multiple languages online.

Read 1627 times Last modified on Thursday, 23 April 2020 14:11
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