COVID-19 News Digest: August 2020

This month’s selection of thought-provoking readings and resources that we’ve found useful for navigating the philanthropic response to the coronavirus pandemic:

Gap Widens Between Renter Shortfalls and S.F.’s Assistance Fund | An article illustrating the immense need for rental assistance in San Francisco. “The city is in the process of giving out $7 million to help people cover rent — but it has received more than $28 million in requests from over 6,800 applications since this spring, according to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, which is disbursing the money from the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. City staffers are prioritizing the money for vulnerable tenants, including those from demographic groups that have borne the brunt of the pandemic.”

Tracking COVID-19’s Effects by Race and Ethnicity  | A useful tracker/tool showing COVID-19 effects across a set of variables (food insecurity, rent, income loss and so on) across different geographies and broken down by race/ethnicity. “To design these race-conscious policies, policymakers need data to gauge how the pandemic may be affecting people’s health, housing, and livelihoods. This tool uses the near-real-time Household Pulse Survey data to track a set of measures for US households as the pandemic and recovery unfold. It will be updated weekly in the coming months.”

Pittsburgh launches ‘guaranteed income’ program with Jack Dorsey money | A short article on the expansion of universal basic income (guaranteed income) across 15 cities with $500 monthly cash assistance in the city of Pittsburgh. “This is one tool to close the wealth and income gap, level systemic race and gender inequalities, and create economic security for families,” Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter.

Arts nonprofits received $1.8 billion in Paycheck Protection loans | An analysis by Americans for the Arts of PPP forgivable loan data for the arts industry and arts nonprofits. “Nonprofit arts organizations received almost 10,000 loans totaling $1.8 billion and retained 176,261 jobs.”