Andrew Yang of Humanity Forward Source: movehumanityforward.com

Andrew Yang of Humanity Forward Source: movehumanityforward.com

Andrew Yang pledges $1 million in coronavirus relief to the Bronx

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is bringing some financial relief to the Bronx and beyond.

Yang announced that he will be giving $1 million to Bronx residents financially impacted by COVID-19 through his nonprofit organization, Humanity Forward.

Yang’s organization has partnered with Neighborhood Trust, a financial empowerment nonprofit, to distribute 1,000 one-time cash payments of $1,000 each to qualified Bronx workers over the next two weeks.  Recipients will also receive a 15-minute financial planning session from Neighborhood Trust, Yang said.

Efforts to reach Neighborhood Trust for further details were not successful following Friday’s announcement.

Yang appeared on Power 105.1’s morning show, The Breakfast Club, to speak about Humanity Forward’s coronavirus relief fund.  While he supported the federal government’s interest in an economic stimulus package that would cut checks directly to individuals, Yang said April would be the earliest the checks would go out, and that would not be soon enough.

“We know that there are a lot of people suffering right now in the Bronx and other parts of New York City.  So we’re going to put a million dollars to work immediately.”

Putting cash from the government directly into the hands of those who need it the most was one of Yang’s core presidential campaign policies; often called a universal basic income or “The Freedom Dividend” as he branded it.

The Bronx-based effort is the first of several planned by the Humanity Forward Corona Virus Relief Fund. The nonprofit aims to roll out similar initiatives in the coming weeks as it targets Americans in lower income brackets who depend on wage work to support themselves, according to its website.

Yang said the relief fund, established just two weeks ago, is actively soliciting donations so that it can quickly grow by multiples, to help more people.

A second effort announced on Humanity Forward’s website and Instagram account invites applications for a cash payment of between $250 and $500 from anyone affected financially by COVID-19.  Further information and the application form can be found here. The form asks applicants to specify how the coronavirus has affected their employment or income.

Yang’s nonprofit fund is also partnering with a worker support fund, One Fair Wage, which was  created by the Alliance for a Just Society to support restaurant workers, delivery workers, drivers and other tipped and service workers in selected states, including New York.  The fund is offering up to $213 to verified workers who sign up with One Fair Wage and participate in a confirmation interview.  The application can be found here.

Government restrictions placed on individuals and businesses in an effort to slow transmission of COVID-19 have led to thousands of layoffs. The deluge of unemployment claims interrupted service on the New York State Department of Labor’s website and forced the department to make changes quickly in order to handle the increase.

The department’s Twitter account said they’ve seen over a 1000% increase in claims in certain areas in New York State.

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