Freelance investigative journalist

As a freelance investigative reporter, I  used to collaborate with media outlets based in the USA and Europe (Miami Herald, OCCRP) to do the kind of deep digging required to disseminate powerful cross-border investigations.
Before moving to the US, I was the Founder and Head of the North America Investigations Division in Transparency International Russia, a center for anti-corruption research. In 2019 I fled Russia due to safety issues related to my professional activity as a journalist.  I was lucky to win a fellowship that placed me at The Wall Street Journal  (NYC newsroom) for five months. Shortly after my internship, I applied for political asylum and 6 months later I submitted the Application for Employment Authorization. Until the present day, both applications are pending with an indefinite deadline. (Case and receipt numbers will be provided upon your request)
The global pandemic had a significant adverse impact on the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) operations. Specifically, USCIS Application Support Centers (ASCs) and Field Offices were closed from March until June 4 and then partially reopened.  As a result work authorization applications according to USCIS are now taking 6 months or longer in many cases leaving undocumented immigrants like me without an opportunity to provide for themselves. 

Freelance Dogwalker, Pet Sitter and Water at Events.

I was a Freelance Dog Walker, Pet Sitter and Gig Worker where i work at events as a water and greeter. Due to the pandemic most of my dog walking clients have moved out of the state or either work from home so they do not need a dog walker and also no one is travelling due to the pandemic so i do not have any pet sitting gigs either. The Events are not happening in NYC for the past 1 year and i have zero income from this avenue. Its been a extremely challenging time for me as i am not able to receive any government assistance due to my immigration status. Please if there is any one out there who can provide any assistance to me it will be greatly appreciated.

Free lance web designer, entrepreneur and caregiver for the elderly

Hi I’m Enysia I’m a freelance graphic designer where I do graphic design in my free time as a extra source of income to help save up for my small business that I wish to start soon before I finish high school. I also help take care of the elderly by helping them clean their homes, do small chores such as laundry, caring for their pets, and running errands for a little extra money to help my family pay bills. Covid has impacted me by taking away 1 of my main incomes which was caring for the elderly due to them being at higher risk for covid which is starting to impact my family by putting us behind in bills since everyone cant pitch in.

Freelance Makeup Artist and Background Actor

I have been working as a freelance makeup artist for events and private clients professionally from 2019 until early 2020 and independent contractor for background acting from August 2018 until early 2020. COVID-19 has greatly impacted my ability to work. Since makeup artistry requires close contact with clients and production shutdowns were in effect since March 2020, I have not been able to work for months. I received the minimum of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which means I am only getting only $159 after takes per week. Due to the $600 additional assistance ending last month it has made things even more difficult. The house I live in is in foreclosure and I haven’t been able to even get a job at a retail beauty store/counter due to company layoffs/furloughs. I had to write my makeup business off as a loss for last year due to spending more on business expenses than making a profit, so the hardships that came with that just further increased this year when the pandemic caused nationwide shutdowns and social distance guidelines. Since I care about my clients’ health/safety for makeup services, and since my mother and I share a bed (we live together in a very small house with my sister and another relative), she has certain health conditions that can cause her to suffer more if she were to catch COVID, I have not worked in makeup at all since March. I have exhausted my savings and am fearful of not knowing how long we have until we have to find a new place to live. I have bills/expenses (2 phone lines-personal business and secondary business, rent needed for a new place, we had to get a mini oven because our regular oven broke down, gas/light/water bills,) piling up as each month goes by.

Uber Driver in New York City

I am a full time driver for Uber in New York City. Most of the time, I used to work a little over 60 hours to make ends meet with all the expenses, like car payments, insurance, registration, maintenance, mandated Uber inspections, gas, tolls. I was exposed to Covid-19 in April and ever since I have been staying home and isolate so I won’t affect anyone. I haven’t worked or had any income for almost 4 months now and if it wasn’t for the good people I am living with I would probably be in the streets or worse. I would appreciate any help during these tough times.

Event planner for social impact and community outreach, contract worker for non-profits, career focused on resource accessibility for marginalized communities.

Hi! Thank you for the opportunity for myself and also for so many others that have been impacted. Resources like this is what serves our communities and I am so happy to see opportunities like this for so many people that are dealing with such hardship. I freelance on work on projects, live events, and programming and production, all surrounding social impact efforts, increasing resource accessibility for marginalized communities, and community outreach for non-profits and private sector.
As soon as the COVID shutdown hit in NYC in late March, all my gigs ended and even future gigs were cancelled (a lot of them were live events that take months and months of programming and planning). One of my clients has completely gone out of business, so I know there will be no return for that work. And a lot of the rest relied on live events – which now it is pretty obvious that that world won’t return until another year. At first I thought, as so many others, this will last a few months. But now it is much clearer that it will have a long-lasting impact on myself and so many others.
My partner is an essential worker in a supermarket, and both of our salaries are needed in order to cover costs of living. As soon as we lost my income, we had to either resort to not paying bills, and also using our credit cards too much for the purchase of groceries and essentials (soap, hand sanitizer, things like that to keep us safe – especially as my husband is an essential worker and we didn’t want to forego on buying things that will protect our lives so we just have been putting them on credit cards). We are absolutely fortunate that he still has an income, but the added stress and trauma of him working in an unsafe environment has cost us a lot – physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. We applied for state benefits including SNAP, but it has taken MONTHS to process. They miscalculated our income which led to a denial and we had to request for a fair hearing to re-evaluate it since they made a mistake (which they admitted to). So now our application has gone back into processing, which could take additional months until it is determined. I applied way back in April.
The length of the financial stress is lasting longer than I previously thought and I just cannot tell at all what is in our future.
I appreciate the consideration and support, for myself as well as community. It’s communities like this that really hold us together. Thank you.

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