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.