All Hands on Deck for COVID Response

It’s a time of extraordinary need in our local community. Everyone’s life has been turned upside down by COVID but none more so than undocumented families who have lost work in construction, restaurants, landscaping, child care, and maintenance. These families face enormous struggles in the best of times, but now the need is much greater, especially because they can’t get unemployment benefits or stimulus checks.

As part of my work with the Kafenia Peace Collective, I helped surveyed undocumented families in our network about their needs. We learned that the overwhelming need is for rent assistance. The statewide moratorium on evictions provides a little breathing room, but that’s all. Back rent will still be due once the moratorium is over.

To pitch in and help, Kafenia is raising money with partners Live in Peace and Dreamers Roadmap in East Palo Alto. In our first round of fundraising, we were able to help a dozen families meet their rent requirements for April.

The need is much too great to be solved by any one person or organization, but it’s very rewarding to be taking action and helping ease the pain for real families in our community.

You too can help out and be part of the COVID solution, even as you shelter in place.

  • Look at the practical suggestions in this Palo Alto Weekly column that I co-authored with others on the Kafenia team.
  • Help out financially if you can. Go to the Live in Peace website. After adding your credit card information, select ‘Kafenia’ under Additional Information.
  • Help with COVID response. If you’d like to roll up your sleeves and help out with the COVID effort, please send me an email ( We especially have a need for Spanish speakers who can help with phone and text outreach.

—Barbara Weinstein

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