The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved $2 million in funding to go toward an Immigrant Relief Fund to help residents who can’t get government assistance because of their immigration status.

The county is partnering with Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, which is overseeing the fund, and Mission Asset Fund that will lead distribution. Residents who earned less than $99,000 in 2019, lost income because of the COVID-19 pandemic and didn’t receive a federal COVID-19 stimulus check are eligible. Preapplications for the $500 unrestricted grants are currently open on the Mission Asset Fund website.

A similar effort already exists on the Coastside, and it’s unclear how the two efforts will be coordinated.

Abundant Grace Coastside Worker Executive Director Eric DeBode said he’s working to connect with the Mission Asset Fund to see if the Coastside Crisis Fund, established by Coastside Hope, Ayudando Latinos a Soñar and Abundant Grace, can unite with the county’s program. The Coastside fund, created in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has raised more than $300,000, most of which has already been distributed to Coastside families in need.

DeBode said they’re still working on determining how to streamline the duplicated efforts so Coastside residents in need of assistance can access the new county funds through existing infrastructure.

The county’s relief fund was also seeded with $5 million from Silicon Valley-based real estate developer John Sobrato and an additional $1.7 million from other donors. County Management Analyst Sophie Mintier said outreach partners, like Puente and Coastside Hope, can help residents with the application process.

At the board meeting, Supervisor Don Horsley called out DeBode’s work and the Coastside Crisis Fund as a model that helped inspire the county effort.

“There are organizations and folks in our community that are stepping up. I think it’s time for us to do the same thing,” Horsley said.

Residents looking to apply for the funds can visit https://missionassetfund.org/immigrant-families-grant/ to submit a pre-application.

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