Today is April 1st and, for many of our clients, rent is due.
During the COVID-19 emergency, IINE’s clients – who are new to the country, many just learning English – are turning to us for help.
IINE in Boston has been delivering critical remote case management, legal, and education services to hundreds of households in our area.
But in recent days the needs of our clients have become much more acute , as refugees and immigrants face two of the larger community effects of COVID-19:
- Job Loss: IINE has placed hundreds of people in the manufacturing and hospitality industries in recent years, and in the past three weeks, most have lost their jobs. Many are facing the possibility of eviction and going without basic needs. We are in daily contact with these clients, and our case managers are applying for benefits, and directing them to food banks and other community resources. But, today is the first day of the month, and many have rent and other bills due. They are in a dangerous limbo until federal relief and unemployment programs begin.
- Lack of Access to Relief Programs: New federal legislation under the CARES Act will create pathways for families to access relief programs who would not normally be eligible. This is good news. However, the CARES Act has not yet gone into effect, and many of IINE’s clients cannot access Unemployment benefits until it does. Other clients of ours will not be eligible even once the law is active. And still others are reluctant to apply for public benefits because of recently enacted federal policies that count enrollment in some public relief programs against future green card applications.
I hope you and your families remain safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. I can’t thank you enough for your continued support.
With gratitude for our wonderful community,
Managing Director, IINE-Boston