About Oregon Worker Relief Fund

The Problem

As COVID-19 continues to affect low-wage employees, we continue to see a high level of unemployment for the communities we serve. Many gainfully employed Oregonians who are immigrants (and contribute to our collective prosperity) have lost their jobs--and thus their wages--because of the pandemic and have no access to any wage replacement program such as the federal Unemployment Insurance program. This has immediate harsh impacts such as housing and food insecurity and long-term impacts for these immigrant families.

The Solution

We solve this problem by creating a rapid community-based system that would provide financial relief to Oregonians that cannot access public benefits. Many Oregonian immigrants fall under classifications that make them ineligible for unemployment insurance (UI). For instance, many Oregonians operate as independent contractors or are ineligible for public benefits due to their immigration classification. The Oregon Worker Relief Fund would provide temporary financial support for those that are falling through the cracks during our current pandemic.

We anticipate that the need for a response like this will be significant. We estimate that we will need to serve 74,000 UI- Ineligible immigrant workers (Migration Policy Institute), all of whom contribute to the collective prosperity of Oregon and are disproportionately impacted by the wage loss caused by COVID-19.