Silicon Valley Leaders Launch $11M Coronavirus Relief Fund

As low-income families in Santa Clara County are crippled by the economic impacts of COVID-19 through lost hours and wages, nonprofits, public agencies and Silicon Valley’s private sector are banding together to help.

The Santa Clara County Homeless Prevention System this morning launched an $11 million relief fund to assist residents with rent and other basic needs.

In order to qualify for the program, applicants must have a household income less than 80 percent of the area median income—typically $103,900 for a family of four—and be able to document financial losses due to COVID-19.

So far, 11 nonprofits and businesses have kicked in money to help fund the program:

  • $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 Enterprises

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the San Jose City Council will also be voting at their March 24 meetings to allocate an additional $2 million each to the fund.

“We are hoping that this allows direct financial assistance to alleviate the immediate financial crisis during this period of emergency in Santa Clara County,” said Chad Bojorquez, the senior director of initiatives for Destination: Home.

Households that fit the program criteria will be eligible to receive up to $4,000 a month and can request assistance once a month as long as the local health emergency lasts and as long as funds are available.

“The only way we get through this is if we do so together, so it's up to all of us to help keep families in their homes during this difficult time,” Facebook spokesperson Chloe Meyere said in a statement. “We’re proud to support Destination: Home’s work to prevent homelessness, and will continue seizing every opportunity to support our neighbors struggling with the impact of COVID-19.”

The fund is part of Silicon Valley’s latest efforts to pull together amid the coronavirus outbreak. Last week elected officials and nonprofit leaders announced the launch of Silicon Valley Strong. The website is currently connecting volunteers with nonprofits that are in desperate need of help with sorting, packing and delivering food to seniors and low-income residents throughout the county.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said that more than 1,000 volunteers have signed up since its launch on last Wednesday. “Right now we are seeing many step up to say we are ready to care for one another,” he said. “And we hope that together as a community ... we will be stronger through this crisis.”

Both Cisco and Facebook made commitments this weekend outside of the homeless prevention program to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Sunday evening, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said that his company would put forward $225 million in cash and in-kind donations for COVID-19 response locally and globally.

And on Saturday, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg announced via an internal employee memo that the social media giant would donate 720,000 masks—both surgical masks and N95 respirators—and 1.5 million pairs of gloves to healthcare workers world wide. Facebook had the stash of masks on hand as part of emergency kits due to California’s increasingly devastating wildfires.

To apply for assistance, go to sacredheartcs.org/covid19 or call 408.780.9134.

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase.

5 Comments

  1. Something to keep in mind is that income should be based on how much a family was making before and after the shelter in place order. I know families in which only one family member lost job without paid leave or sick time benefits and others in which all working adults lost their jobs. Thus, their income before and after shelter in place is much different. All these families are in high despair And all need help. While some had the time and money to engage in hoarding items, other people did not have anything. Toilet paper and women sanitarias are no where to be found! On another note: I hope there will be more good news for at least this county by tomorrow.

  2. > I hope there will be more good news for at least this county by tomorrow.

    I don’t mean to suggest that you or Santa Clara County actually deserve any good news, FEXXY, but I have discerned a few disturbances in the force that have enabled me to maintain a positive and hopeful outook.

    Of first importance toward achieving tranquility is the necessity of recognizing that at the current moment we are living in a “negativity matrix”.

    The forces of politics, the forces of the media, the forces of the blogosphere, and the forces of the medical establishment are all aligned, for various reasons, on one circumstance: THE WORST CASE SCENARIO,

    CORONAVIRUS IS THE WORST PANDEMIC EVER! 60 PERCENT OF CALIFORNIANS WILL GET IT! THE DEATH RATE IS TEN TIMES HIGHER THAN THE FLU! 80 PERCENT OF SENIORS WILL DIE. SENIORS WILL HAVE TO BE QUARANTINED FOR TWELVE MONTHS OR MORE! THE ECONOMY WILL COLLAPSE! THE GOVERNMENT WILL DECLARE MARTIAL LAW! YADDA! YADDA! YADDA!

    FEAR! FEAR FEAR!

    Politicians want to be heard. Fear and shrillness get attention. Bloggers want clicks! Worst case scenarios get clicks.

    The reality is that reality is FAR different than the worst case scenario.

    The most likely scenario is probably disagreeable but not unlike things we have seen before.

    “We’re going to be fine.”

    https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-03-22/coronavirus-outbreak-nobel-laureate

    “Why this Nobel laureate predicts a quicker coronavirus recovery: ‘We’re going to be fine’”

    Other things to consider:

    1. COVID-19 is a mutation of SARS Coronavirus. Many people likely have some degree of immunity to the related viruses, and some of that immunity will carry over. In other words, even though it is a “novel” virus. some people will have immunity. Maybe a lot of people will have immunity.

    On the cruise ship Diamond Princess, 19 percent passengers became infected, 1.1 percent died. Not much different from the flu.

    2. There will undoubtedly be effective vaccines for coronavirus in the next twelve months or so.

    3. There are promising drugs for treating coronavirus: hydroxychloroquinone.

    4. Viruses similar to coronavirus are sensitive to temperature and humidity. Some viruses become “inactive’ above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. This suggests that possibility of sanitizing a home or office simply be heating it to 88 or 90 degrees for a couple of hours. Coronavirus CAN BE CONTROLLED.

    5. In a month or two, temperatures above 86 degrees will be everywhere, and (with common sense hygiene and social distancing) transmission of coronavirus will virtually cease.

    So, I’m inclined to agree the Nobel prize-winner rather than the one-toothed Bozos with neck tattoos on the internet:

    “We’re going to be fine.”

  3. Bubble, remembered I said many will die? It is true! But, many will survive too. Thus, this is a real crisis and yes, we are all on the negatives and going to red zone. It is during these times that we have to focus on possibilities and what can be done and it is important. We have to focus on saving lives. There is no way back. We have to live and die together and fighting not crying in the corner of our room. “There is hope for the one who believes.” “In God we trust.” There is no room for fear. Many of us will get it eventually. Let’s get it gradually. Those who survive will have a better world. God is testing the souls, hearts, and character of people. You will see what each person is made of now. God is also having fun at the expense of the kings, PMs and presidents, of this world and the powerful! He can destroy this world when he pleases to. It is not the end though. Stay at home people. The word says it is best to be a living dog than a death lion! If you are healthy, you can start all over again.

  4. H1N1 hit the USA during the Obama administration. There were 60.8 MILLION cases in the US alone. There were 12,469 deaths. Panic level:chill. As of yesterday there were 32,356 COVID cases in the US and 414 deaths. Panic level: mass hysteria. That makes little sense, yet the press and the politicians keep fanning the ?

  5. Keeping things real, folks.

    COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County: 321

    Santa Clara County population: 1,937,570

    COVID-19 infection rate: 0.017%

    That’s 1 person in 6,000.

    Everyone remain calm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *