Check out the POOR PEOPLE'S ARMY EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND FOR ORGANIZING.
With your help, we will raise $20,000 to distribute among 20 grassroots, poor-led organizations across the United States. Instead of reacting to this crisis with scarcity & fear that there isn’t enough to go around, we want to take this moment to LIFT UP each other’s work, to remember that there is an abundance of resources to support this work if we truly imagine what it would look like to resource and support poor people’s liberation.
Now is the time.
The organizing of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign is built on the knowledge that poor people need to take care of ourselves, and that building solidarity among the poor is how we gain power & control over our own lives. The economic and health crisis presented by COVID-19 is impacting poor and houseless people in extreme ways that will not be met by the state. Poor people already lost cash assistance before the pandemic started, and now those who were employed are losing their jobs or risking their & their family’s health to continue working; losing housing; unable to access testing or medical care; and unable to access information, resources, and education due to the digital divide. We believe that this is a moment to fund poor-led organizing so we can demand an economic system where we can not just survive but thrive.
We know that our work has always taken place as part of a family of poor-led organizations across the country. We know poor-led organizing that truly demands systemic change is NOT being funded, as large philanthropic foundations, banks/corporations, and major political parties do not actually want to change the status quo. In this moment, we want to use our position to raise money for this work as much as we can. We want to quickly raise funds and distribute them to people in our network with need in real time, to support organizing & mutual aid work that is ALREADY HAPPENING, across the South, on reservations, and across the country.
We will distribute funds to poor-led organizing & mutual aid efforts that meet the following criteria:
Our goal is to raise $20,000 so that we can distribute $1000 to 19 different organizations. If we meet this goal, we will keep $1000 to cover PPEHRC’s office rent. This is a one-time push - we hope to raise & distribute money on a one-time basis to quickly infuse front-line, poor-led mutual aid orgs with capacity in this moment when funds are urgently needed. Funds will be distributed by Philadelphia-area leadership of PPEHRC for as long as funds last. A list of the groups we distribute funds to will be shared publicly.
If you are aware of a group/organization that meets this criteria that you think we should fund, please let us know by contacting us through this page.
You will receive a coronavirus stimulus payment of $1200 adults & $500 kids under 17 either direct deposit or mailed check based on whether you included direct deposit info in your 2018 or 2019 taxes. Unfortunately, people ages 17 and above will not receive a payment if someone has claimed them as a dependent on tax returns, including college students and disabled people. Senior citizens also cannot receive payment if they are living with a child who claims them as a dependent.
On 4/15/20, the IRS launched on a weblink to check on payment info or update your info but it is reportedly having a lot of problems: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment Direct deposits will begin in April, and paper checks will be mailed over the next several months (yes, it may take a long time).
If you filed through H&R Block or some other business, you should try to go onto the "Get My Payment" IRS site to update information: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment
Although originally it was thought that refunds could be given through services like H&R Block's Emerald Cards, that reportedly hasn't worked. You should try to check your status and enter payment info at the "Get My Payment" site.
UPDATE on 4/16/20: According to the Washington Post: "Several million people who filed their taxes via H&R Block, TurboTax and other popular services were unable to get their payments because the IRS did not have their direct deposit information on file, according to the Treasury, companies and experts."
The federal government expanded unemployment for all states, allowing more people to qualify, to receive payments for months longer than usual, and to increase the amount of money you may receive each week.
Unemployment is organized and different in each state. PA and many other states will be giving an extra $600 per week on top of what you would qualify for (usually you qualify for about half the paycheck you received while working). This applies to part-time workers and gig workers. The usual requirements for qualifying for unemployment have been changed, so it's much easier to qualify. If you're not sure whether you qualify, you should just apply in your state and they will determine if you're eligible.
For the first time, 1099 independent contractor/gig workers qualify for unemployment. Because this is new, in PA the state set up a different website for independent contractors to apply for unemployment. If you are a 1099 worker in PA, do not apply through the normal site, instead apply here: https://pua.benefits.uc.pa.gov/.
The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 provides benefits, referred to as Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), to families of school-aged children who would have otherwise received free or reduced-priced meals if it were not for school closures. Families will receive a cash benefit of $365 for every child. More information to follow:
- If families currently receive SNAP benefits, the funds will be loaded to their current card
- If families do not receive SNAP, funds will be mailed to current address on file with PSD
- Website is being set up to provide information on how to update addresses if needed
For 30+ years the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign has been organizing poor and homeless people to survive. It's even more dire now amidst the coronavirus pandemic. We do not take corporate money and survive off individual donations. Please donate!
MAR. 24, 2020