New York City has quickly become the focus of the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic, with tens of thousands of New Yorkers facing the health crisis directly. With thousands of businesses, community services and schools closed, New Yorkers who are struggling to maintain basic essentials like food, childcare, and housing have been hit the hardest.
Disaggregated data on COVID-19 is starting to tell us what many of us anticipated and feared: that this health crisis has a disproportionate impact in New York’s low-income neighborhoods and marginalized members. We see this tragically in the rates of hospitalization and death, and know that there are cascading impacts for the victims’ families and communities.
TakeRoot Justice needs organizational support to adapt our work to our partners’ and clients’ ongoing and emerging needs due to COVID-19.
We're helping mutual aid networks as they tackle questions around taxes, governance and other logistics. We're also helping essential workers with access to justice for safety standards and sick leave. We just launched a new Response Hotline that will be fielding questions about: evictions and inability to pay rent, public benefits and unemployment benefits, commercial rent, COVID-19 related issues about court and agency closures and changes to the law, housing court cases, and consumer debt issues. In addition to offering direct resources and brief legal advice, we will track community member needs and emerging patterns. The hotline has launched with one partner organization in each borough, and will expand to more partners from there.
We are also working closely with all our grassroots partners on broader check ins. Our response to the pandemic has been partner and organizer led, as we stay in community with the most effected New Yorkers. Across our work, we are creating virtual trainings, workshops, and know your rights documents and resource guides. Several of these resources guides are already live, include one for consumers, one for workers, and one for immigrants. We have been in close communication with the many community partners we serve, helping to answer the new legal questions that come up at this time.
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