Solidarity4Service (also called S4SNYC) was co-founded by two former service industry workers, Jenice and Carlyn, who became friends while working together in a restaurant in Manhattan. They now work in mental health and public policy.
In the weeks leading up to the shutdown, we kept hearing from more and more friends that their hours had been cut, or their restaurant was closed indefinitely, or they lost upcoming gigs. At the same time, we were hearing from other friends that they were worried about people losing work because of COVID-19 and wanted to help.
We launched the #Solidarity4Service platform to allow people who want to help to connect and send money directly to the hands of people who lost work and income. Donors can browse workers who register for support by industry, and then send money via a payment platform directly to individuals for immediate relief. Since the Pause order, caring New Yorkers have sent over $31.500 dollars to help people meet basic needs like groceries, medication and urgent bills.
We wanted to start #Solidarity4Service because we knew a lot of people were hurting, and it might take the government some time to provide relief (particularly since service industry, gig and temp workers are typically not included in things like Unemployment Benefits and Paid Sick Leave). And we wanted to connect people directly to each other, since solidarity is at the core of what we hope to achieve, and we believe that right now especially, we all need a reminder that we’re not alone.
Whether you are a former service industry worker like us or someone who can’t stand the thought of your barista going into debt to pay for groceries, you can do something to help right now. We hope you’ll take some of the money that you would have spent out in the city and give it directly to someone in need.