A LOCAL Filipino American organization in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown has launched a new nationwide program to provide working families with supplies and other resources during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) unveiled its Community Care Program, which includes the Care Box Program, Care Fund, Care Meals, COVID-19 Relief Fund, Virtual Town Halls, temporary shelter and emergency assistance.
“We recognize that this pandemic is more than a health crisis. It poses a huge threat to the public’s health, safety and financial stability and has varied impacts to our community,” said PWC Executive Director Aquilina Soriano Versoza. “We are doing what we can to provide assistance for basic needs like food, finances and shelter.”
To date, the organization has sent 250 Care Boxes to families in need in California and human trafficking survivors located in New Mexico, North Dakota, Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, and Wyoming, among others.
Each box contains food items such as rice, noodles, canned meat, canned fish, soap, gloves and other personal hygiene products.
With donations from Island Pacific Supermarket and assistance from the Coalition of Filipino American Chamber of Commerce, a second batch of PWC Care Boxes will be distributed starting this month.
PWC partnered with Neri’s Restaurant, PhilHouse and Tita’s of Manila to provide Care Meals (hot meals) to seniors, people with disabilities or medical conditions, low-income families and individuals who have limited capacity to access food.
In collaboration with PWC volunteers, Mother Movement and Victory Outreach, these Care Meals are distributed every Tuesday and Thursday to residents in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles.
Concepcion Yap, a PWC member and a recipient of the hot meals added, “In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this disaster has taken lives and our sense of normalcy, I am thankful to PWC for delivering hot meals directly to our house. We are touched beyond words.”
PWC is also facilitating the disbursement of the Care Fund, a National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) grant that provides a $400 cash/credit card to domestic workers for emergency assistance.
PWC has assisted numerous domestic workers, whom, if eligible, will collectively receive more than $100,000.
While most residents are staying at home, some health care workers actually find themselves displaced or homeless due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We have a lot of caregivers who are ordered to stay home and isolate themselves if they’re exposed. While they have not been tested positive, they have to self isolate but they have nowhere to stay, or they’re bed spacers only,” stated Lolita Lledo, PWC’s associate director.
In response, PWC initiated a COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide temporary housing and access to COVID-19 testing centers to workers and frontliners who are in this situation. A generous donation was also made by the Office of the Philippine Consulate General, Los Angeles to support this cause.
To keep the community abreast with latest news on COVID-19, PWC holds Virtual Town Halls bi-weekly (Mondays at 2:00 pm PST) to provide resources and relevant information on how to cope with the challenges brought by the pandemic.
After a series of Town Halls, PWC collaborated with The Filipino Channel (TFC) in order to reach more Filipinos in need during this crisis. Attendees may join the Town Hall via Zoom webinar or through PWC’s Facebook Livestream.
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most domestic workers and caregivers have already been in isolation, working one-on-one in the homes of their clients. Through PWC’s Virtual Town Halls, we are able to address the needs of the community and provide a space for people to safely come together and support each other,” said Soriano Versoza.
As stay-at-home orders continue to be in place, PWC reminds Filipinos to be prepared, informed and follow recommendations and guidance from public health experts and relevant authorities. (AJPress)