Emergency support fund provides relief to immigrant families in Iowa

Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – A support fund has been provided to 167 families in central Iowa to help with the impacts of the current pandemic, while more than 100 families remain on the waitlist hoping for assistance.

The Central Iowa Immigrant Emergency Support Fund (CIIESF) is an initiative of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Iowa, Al Exito, and Proteus Inc.

The fund, which is over $130,000, was set up to meet the needs of Iowans who do not qualify for government assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund assists community members facing significant challenges due to the loss of income, illness, or other COVID-19 related impacts.

The assistance has covered basic needs including:

  • Rent
  • Mortgages
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Medicine for individuals and their families during the last few months

“I have just received a check for $1,000. I am not crying tears of sadness, but tears of joy for this donation. I don’t have the words to show my appreciation for Proteus for your kindness and humanity during these VERY difficult times. Thank you, Monserrat for your help at every moment. I am so happy that I truly don’t know whether to pay the rent, buy food, pay debts, buy necessities, look for a lawyer for the accident, or pay the hospital, but what I do know is I will give someone $100 to help someone else. God is great and merciful, and he never forgets about us,” one recipient of CIIESF aid said.

An initial grant from the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation under the Disaster Recovery Fund, along with donations from Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, Polk County, La Q Buena Radio, and others, allowed CIIESF to open on April 27.

Over 100 families are currently on the CIIESF waitlist requesting an additional $120,000 to fulfill their needs.

“The economic impact of the pandemic does not discriminate on the basis of nationality, but the disparities are even greater during the times of crisis. Something to remember is that while tax-paying citizens received a stimulus check, many tax-paying immigrants did not. This fund has helped ameliorate some of the financial hardships immigrants’ families face during the pandemic. From rent to medications, the more existence of this fund has shown that there is a willingness within the community to ensure that all residents of this state are taken care of, and many families express their gratitude and bestow blessings to all who have donated.”

Program Specialist for CIIESF, Proteus, Monserrat Iniguez.

For those looking to contribute, donations can be made to the CIIESF by clicking here.

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