She was doing gig work (uber, lyft) before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She learned in March that she was pregnant with twins in a high-risk pregnancy, and was told by her doctor that she needed to stop working immediately due to the danger of her contraccting COVID-19. She has tried multiple times throughout hte past 9 months to get any type of benefits, but was denied paid family leave, and like many others, had issues reaching EDD to get unemployment payments, despite being eligible for them. She lost her housing in Tracy, CA before her babies were born, and has been staying in airbnbs. She was put on bedrest a month before her twins were born, and all that time continued to try to get her benefits, but had difficulties getting calls back from EDD.
Her twins were delivered October 12th, 2020, and her daughter was born with spinal bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly. This condition requires significant special care, including multiple surgeries - requiring her to be close to Children's Hospital Oakland. Even if she were able, the level of care her daughter needs requires her to be home in order to perform necessary care (such as rotating every 15-20 minutes) her so she does not sleep too long on her back, lotioning her, and other care.
Nicole was recently approved for unemployment insurance payments, including backpay, around $7000, when the card with her disbursed benefit was frozen. She and advocates have called many times to EDD and BoA to try to get this money unfrozen - however, nearly 100,000 people around the U.S. receiving unemployment insurance have had their benefits frozen in their cards, and are unable to resolve the issue. Nicole had almost secured stable housing when this occurred, and as a result is back at the start of trying to find stable housing for herself and her two newborns.
Nicole recently got the chance to send in the application for a 2 bedroom in the Bay Area. We are trying to get up to $4000 before Feb 1, to help with the costs of moving, first month's rent, deposit, and getting settled and set up with her babies in a safe home. We're hoping it may be less if she is approved for low income housing, however, she still will need to furnish the home.
You can also contribute to her paypal at:
Please support this amazing and resilient Black Mama get back on her feet and safely live with her babies.
- Veronica Gholar
Organizer and beneficiary
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