Mayor’s Fund For Los Angeles’ COVID Response Raises $56 Million To Serve More Than 105,000 Angelenos

Published On: August 12, 2020Categories: MFLA News, Program News

-Response Funded Newly Created Programs to Confront Unprecedented Crisis
-Donations Received from more than 10,000 Generous Angelenos
-Shareable Infographic:

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles’ official philanthropic response to the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic raised $56 million to help more than 105,000 Angelenos with direct financial assistance, home meal delivery for seniors, childcare for hospital workers, and shelter and services for domestic violence survivors, Mayor Garcetti announced today. The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles was established in 2014 to be an agile and trusted institution that rapidly addresses critical needs identified in partnership with the Mayor of Los Angeles.

“When COVID-19 reached our shores, Los Angeles stepped up to the plate with innovative and courageous solutions to save lives and livelihoods — and we strengthened our government’s actions by tapping into the generosity of our neighbors, our philanthropic partners, our public and private sector,” Mayor Garcetti said. “The response from the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles embodies the best of the Angeleno spirit, lifting up our hardest-hit families, keeping vulnerable residents safe, and bringing our city’s resolve to bear to confront this devastating blow to our families’ health and economic security.”

Garcetti noted that more than 10,000 Angelenos have made contributions to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles for COVID-19 response.

“The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles is here to make sure that innovative ideas and private resources can help government better serve the people,” said Deidre Lind, who was the Fund’s founding President and who returned to lead the Fund through the pandemic. “At the end of the day, none of this would be possible without the generosity of more than 10,000 Angelenos. This response is a testament of the giving spirit of Los Angeles, which is what has made us a model for the nation.”

Notably, the Fund’s COVID-19 response supported new programs that were created to rapidly respond to the pandemic in partnership with the non-profit Accelerator for America.

Project Safe Haven is now serving more people than the existing L.A. County domestic violence shelter system. Last week, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles provided an additional $250,000 in funding for Project Safe Haven, extending the program for a second time.

When the pandemic hit, the domestic violence shelter system was frozen in place. That’s because those shelters usually house victims and their children for a period of time while they work to address their trauma and stabilize, and then either return home, move in with family or friends, or move to transitional housing. Coronavirus halted people’s ability to move into different housing. Compounding the crisis, domestic violence incidents reported to the police have skyrocketed during the pandemic.

The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles is providing resources to house survivors in hotels, provide grocery cards weekly, and to fund non-profit organizations who provide case management and wrap around services despite the non-traditional setting.

Transportation to these safe locations is being provided by a Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles partnership with Lyft. To date, Project Safe Haven has served 1,103 adults and children experiencing domestic violence.

The Angeleno Card initiative distributed $36,761,979 to help 104,156 Los Angeles residents. Angeleno Cards provide direct financial assistance via no-fee debit cards powered by Mastercard’s City Possible network to people whose livelihoods were hardest-hit by the pandemic, including low-wage hourly workers who had jobs in homes and restaurants, seasonal workers, day laborers, street vendors, and self-employed individuals. Angeleno Cards also serve residents regardless of immigration status — immigrant communities have been some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, yet they have been too often excluded from federal assistance. The Angeleno Card was quickly created by a team led by the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City of LA’s Housing + Community Investment Department, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, Accelerator for America and Mastercard City Possible. Together with APEX IT & Oracle, they built a system that screened 450,000 applications and then partnered with the City of Los Angeles’ twenty-one FamilySource Centers to verify the eligibility of recipients and distribute funds.

The success of the Angeleno Card sparked the Open Society Foundations to provide a grant to Accelerator for America to adapt and expand the initiative into 10 additional communities across the country.

Angeleno Card recipient Maripily Martinez said, “I am a housekeeper and my clients, because of COVID-19, told me not to come anymore. I can’t apply for any other help because I’m an independent contractor and I don’t have an income. I have a son, it’s just him and I. I didn’t even have enough to buy food. This is going to help me a lot.  I appreciate this from the bottom of my heart.”

Mercedes Hernandez, a single mother of three children, lost her job as a restaurant cashier because of the pandemic. She said of the assistance she received through the Angeleno Card: “If it wasn’t for this help, we wouldn’t be able to survive.”

The Angeleno Card program is now paused as the City implements its Emergency Renters Assistance Program.

With thousands of seniors newly isolated in their homes because of the pandemic, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles supported the creation of a new system to deliver 120,000 meals per week. This  allowed the Department of Aging to more than quadruple the number of seniors it served. Home delivered meals must be prepared and delivered in a way that allows them to be safely stored and reheated at home, necessitating specialized kitchen equipment, transportation and more. Everytable was identified as a partner that could not only prepare the meals but hire drivers and acquire the right vehicles to help 12,000 seniors receive 10 delivered meals every week. These seniors have now been transitioned to the “Great Plates” program.

With schools, after school programs and day care centers closed, essential medical workers needed access to safe child care to leave home and work their shifts in Los Angeles hospitals. In consultation with public health officials, a system was created to connect workers with trusted and screened in-home child care providers. Contributions to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles have funded child care during 17,427 shifts at 15 key hospitals across the city. Coverage continues to be provided at one hospital.

The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving life for all Angelenos. Bringing together institutions and experts from across the City, the Fund supports programs to create transformative change across Los Angeles, making it a world leader in economic prosperity, government efficiency, community resiliency, and quality of life for all of its residents. Uniquely positioned at the crossroads of local government, business, philanthropy, and non-profits, the Fund sparks communication and collaboration to tackle some of Los Angeles’ most complex challenges. The Fund is supported by private donations and is overseen by an independent Board of Directors.


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