EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- For months, people have been ordered to stay at home or or work from home.
But what if there was no home to be at?
Even with eviction moratoriums in place, families across the Bay Area are facing homelessness due to back pay owed on these rents following financial struggles caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Live in Peace is a nonprofit in East Palo Alto dedicated to help at-risk youth succeed in school, but COVID-19 has challenged the group to help in a new way with the "First of the Month" campaign.
"Imagine living check-to-check, working very hard and making sure everything is balanced to a tee and then, in one day, everything stops," Live in Peace Executive Director Heather Starnes-Logwood said.
Live in Peace said they would not let that happen.
"First of the Month was designed so that families in East Palo Alto, East Menlo Park and Redwood City that were impacted by COVID-19 could be supported," Starnes-Logwood said. "We would pay three months of rent at a time so that we could stabilize them. If we ignore this issue right now, people will be displaced and people would be removed from our community and that is our number one priority."
Recipients of First of the Month rent relief are identified and carefully vetted by community leaders of the three local nonprofits who've banded together to launch First Of The Month - Dreamers Roadmap, Kafenia Peace Collective and Live In Peace.
The campaign has raised more than $2 million to support 310 families in need.
Donations are collected and distributed to families within 48 hours.
To get this money, volunteers have reached out to some big names.
Funding to date has come from over 600 small and large donors, including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's #startsmall initiative, Box co-founder Aaron Levie and his wife Joelle Emerson, as well as Zoom founder Eric Yuan.
Bay Area foundations also gave generously, including Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Palo Alto Community Fund, The Anne Wojcicki Foundation, the Susan and Peter Pau of Sand Hill Property Company foundation, and New Story, a nonprofit dedicated to tackling global homelessness.
YourMechanic.com's President and CEO Anthony Rodio also joined in to support the cause.
"I love when I can make a personal impact and see the difference that impact makes on people's lives," Rodio said. "I think they have done a good job of connecting with the people here in Silicon Valley in a way that makes it very personal and, for me, that's more rewarding than just sending a check. We wanted to donate where we could see an impact in our own community."
Letters of thanks for these donations flood the Live in Peace mailbox.
Gratitude for these companies and the volunteers.
"It's very life-changing and the way we connect with the families is very impactful," Live in Peace Volunteer Luz Abarca said.
"I'm part of those families," Live in Peace volunteer Bianca Oseguera said. "We're all low-income. I'm just proud to be able to help families continue to stay in their homes and not be evicted."
Live in Peace hopes to raise 9 million more to support 500 families still at risk of losing their homes.
If you'd like to get involved, visit the Live in Peace website here.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- Watch list: Counties where COVID-19 is getting worse
- MAP: Everything that's open, forced to close in Bay Area
- Everything to know about CA's confusing reopening plan, summer shutdown and what comes next
- From salons to dinner parties: Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Experts compare face shield vs. face mask effectiveness
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic