Employees & Freelancers: COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Brainstorm
Priorities and Key Concerns:
“I just got laid off. I spent most of my money getting food, and now I have $120. My rent is $565, and I have no idea how I’m going to pay it.”
Paying April Rent - both for individuals and small businesses Paying next month’s rent or making a mortgage payment is top of mind for most individuals who currently had their hours cut or were laid off.
Affording and Accessing Groceries Many individuals have spent their remaining money on their initial round of food purchases, but are unsure what they are going to do once that runs out, especially if they do not have money for gas to drive to food pick-up points.
Affording and Accessing Health Care related to getting sick with COVID-19 There is a lot of uncertainty about whether individuals who seek treatment for COVID-related illness will have to pay for their care.
Paying for Utilities Many individuals are stopping their utility payments, but are concerned with what is going to happen when those bills come due.
Access to up-to-date and reliable information There are so many different sources of information right now, but individuals are seeking a single, trustworthy, updated source of information about resources and assistance.
Financial planning support Individuals who have been laid off may not have received the information they need to navigate their financial and health insurance situation, including access to unemployment benefits. “I was laid off. I just came in and they just stated that the restaurant was closed...They didn’t mention a plan for paying a portion of what we make...they didn’t mention any options.”
Solving for childcare issues, including at-home school instruction Many parents are unsure how to balance working from home, feeding their kids, and providing at-home instructions in line with the schoolwork their kids have been given.
Place a moratorium on issuing evictions for landlords. Our current moratorium is on the processing of evictions at the courthouse, but we need the prevent landlords from issuing evictions for non-payment of rent for the foreseeable future. Seattle just issued a model for this type of moratorium.
Incentivize landlords to commit to reducing or postponing rent Provide subsidies or incentives to landlords who agree to defer rent payments or accept partial payment.
Provide Kroger gift and gas cards to families in need of groceries, and encourage them to utilize curbside or at-home delivery.
Coordinate efforts for teachers and others to volunteer to provide online instruction for kids whose parents are working from home.
Provide free financial advising for individuals who want to understand what their options and make a plan for the next 4-8 weeks that they can feel comfortable with.
Create a centralized and easy-to-digest website that is a “one-stop-shop” of information that is fact checked and provides updated information, in coordination with federal, state, and local agencies and social service providers. United Way and the City of Cincinnati are the two principal entities that could host that site.