Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund

As we all come to terms with the health crisis here in Seattle, our vibrant and essential hospitality industry workers are also staring down the possibility of economic catastrophe. 

Seattle hospitality workers currently have the ability to apply for full or partial unemployment, and our city is working to pass a ban on evictions during this time. Despite these reliefs, there is no 100% rent forgiveness, unemployment payments take time to arrive--and when they do, the amount is often not enough to cover basic living costs in one of the most expensive cities in the nation. Folks who are laid off from jobs that also pay for their medical insurance may have to buy into COBRA or the open market, which can be a devastating cost while relying on unemployment payments alone.  

We have started a fund that can be accessed by workers whose hours have been curtailed because of this crisis and who are not being otherwise compensated.

In order to distribute the funds, we've created a short survey through Survey Monkey that will help us prioritize those in our community that are most at-risk and in need. All information shared remains confidential. Our aim is to provide everyone who applies with emergency funds, but we are only able to provide funds to those in the hospitality industry within the Seattle Metro Area. We will first prioritize the people in our community who are undocumented, then will focus on those who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and immunocompromised.

Applicants who are eligible are asked to first sign up for unemployment coverage to get a full scope of what support is immediately needed. We are in direct contact with each applicant and recipient of funds, and will be sending funds directly through our 501(c)3 partner, who will  enable us to accept tax exempt donations, both corporate and private. 

Please apply for emergency community funds here. 

With any questions or to make a direct tax exempt donation, please email SeattleHospitalityFund@gmail.com 


I think it’s important that all of you know who we are. My name is Jessica Tousignant, I have been in the Seattle restaurant industry for over a decade. You may have met me at Le Pichet, Boat Street, Cafe Campagne, Spur, La Bête, or any number of industry fundraising events I have organized around the city. I am a healthcare activist and community organizer. Most recently, I left my role as Vice President of Sales for Sun Liquor to start a nonprofit to help cancer patients access mental healthcare. Currently, I'm working alongside the deeply talented team at Bateau a few nights a week. The restaurant industry in Seattle supported me through my cancer diagnosis a few years ago, and as I sit in my apartment under quarantine, I can’t think of any other project I’d like to take on in this moment than to help facilitate direct emergency funding to those who need it most. I am working with a dear friend, Candace Whitney-Morris, who is a Communications Manager at Microsoft, as well as with a small  group of highly respected industry leaders to ensure that we are able to get funds to those most in need as quickly as possible.

It matters how we survive this crisis--not only physically, but soulfully, and not only individually, but as a community. Let's make sure wage disruption is minimal. Let's not let one group of people be the ones to pay the highest price for the well-being of our city. 

Our country is  looking to Seattle to set the precedent for COVID-19 relief efforts. Let's show them how we take care of each other.

 Consider donating or sharing if you are unable to give at this time. 

Donations ()

  • Barney Johnson 
    • $11 
    • 1 hr
  • Bailey Disher 
    • $90 
    • 1 hr
  • Kris Babani 
    • $50 
    • 1 hr
  • Robert Green 
    • $11 
    • 5 hrs
  • Jerry Hughes 
    • $11 
    • 5 hrs
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Jessica Tousignant 
Organizer
Raised $22,695 from 175 donations
Seattle, WA
Candace Whitney Morris 
Team member
Raised $2,935 from 15 donations
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