COVID19: Idaho Relief Fund

We have created this COVID-19 relief fund to assist those communities that experience the most marginalization, have the least access to resources, and could be especially vulnerable during this time. We are inspired by Amita Swadhin and their efforts  to support community across the country. 


This mutual aid fund is created to support LGBTQI+, non-binary, gender fluid, and gender non-conforming people of color, people who are undocumented, BIPOC, and people with disabilities. 


None of the people managing this fund (and none of their household members) will receive monies from this fund.


We are borrowing and taking the lead from Amita with the following: 


We are prioritizing LGBTQI+, non-binary, gender fluid, and gender non-conforming people of color [people who are undocumented, BIPOC, and people with disabilities.] because we often have less ties to familial support networks, we have historically been simultaneously overlooked and surveilled by welfare state systems, our needs have been surplus to mainstream political formations, and we tend to work in the gig economy. 


We recognize that the nation-state does not provide a safety net for so many people, and that the United States government’s response to COVID-19 has only deepened pre-existing hierarchies that make people vulnerable to premature death. We hope for a world in which universal basic income, universal health care, and other functioning social systems exist. We know that what we are doing is an imperfect solution to a very large problem, but we are trying anyway.


We talked with other mutual aid funds about how they decided to distribute the money they raised and decided that we wanted to absolutely avoid parsing through people’s narratives and deciding whose needs were more important than others. We agree with adrienne maree brown who quotes Lao Tzu (author of Tao Te Ching) in Emergent Strategy : “If you do not trust the people, they will become untrustworthy.”


We are choosing to trust the people. We are not social workers and we refuse to replicate that position and dynamic. Most of the pool of people who have requested funds thus far are not employed full time, have a chronic illness or disability and before COVID-19 closures were already impoverished.  


In our commitment to mutual aid, we have decided to support funding requests in the style of a rolling jubilee . Here is how it will work:


THE SURVEY WHERE PEOPLE CAN APPLY FOR SUPPORT WILL OPEN on Friday, March 27th by 12:00 PM MST and will CLOSE on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 11:59 PST. (UPDATE: we extended the application deadline to allow for more applications to come through).


Click here to fill out the survey and apply for financial support. 


For folks who request funds before 11:59pm (Pacific Standard Time) on Friday, April 10, 2020: 


In “Round 1,” we will redistribute $100 to every person of color who is LGBTQI+, non-binary, gender fluid, and gender non-conforming who is self-employed or working in the service economy, who is undocumented, or a sex worker (even if they asked for less), as funds allow. People living at the intersections of these identities will be moved to the top of the list.


In “Round 2,” if there are more funds available after the first round, we will prioritize additional fund distribution to applicants who are (in no particular order):


Black 

Indigenous 

Undocumented

POC

Sex Workers

Disabled/Chronically Ill

Transgender or non-binary

Not enrolled in or employed full-time at well-resourced educational institutions

Not eligible for paid sick leave through any organization

On the cusp of losing housing (especially looking at cities/states that have not yet passed eviction moratoriums)

Food insecure


We will move folks who live at the intersections of these identities or experiences to the front of the line.


Round 2 of funds will be distributed according to the following formula:


* Give every person who asked for $101-400 the full amount requested

* Give every person who asked for $401+ 60% of the amount they requested, or $400, whichever is greater.

* Individual grants will be capped at $1500.


Funds will be distributed via Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal payments.


We would like to thank all of the wonderful folks who have responded immediately to our call for mutual aid.


We will continue to raise funds through the end of April.


We are also distributing a list of various local mutual aid funds and mutual aid processes to every person who applied, and we are sharing our applications with several mutual aid funds. 


We also hope that you will join us in calling for rent and mortgage moratoriums, universal healthcare, free childcare and the abolition of the fear programming that tells us that we cannot collectively take care of one another and create a world in which we all live in abundance!

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Organizer

Chelsea Gaona Lincoln 
Organizer
Boise, ID