SCS Preparedness for Coronavirus COVID-19
SCS is committed to maintaining a healthy environment for all. Following guidelines established by the CDC and Santa Clara County Department of Public Health, SCS has implemented precautionary measures to limit the spread of germs and ensure the safe distribution of healthy food.
SCS continues to employ COVID-19 safe practices. And while local eviction protections and unemployment enhancements have ended, we continue to help the community. If you need help with rent, food, or other areas, please call our main phone: (408) 738-4321.
Tell Your Legislator
The renter protections that were enacted at the start of the pandemic will end on July 31. While more federal and state funding will soon be available to help, we need more time to get the funds to people who need them. Please join us in contacting state legislators ASAP who can extend and expand renter protections. More than one million households are at risk of losing their homes.
SCS is a member of the Silicon Valley Sponsoring Committee, a non-partisan network of civic, faith-based, and nonprofit organizations. Together we are developing leadership capacity to effect change on a larger scale than we could alone.
If you would like to help, please do the following:
- Find the contact information for your State Senator and Assemblymember... by clicking here, then follow the links to the representative's website. Once on the website, find the "Contact" button, which will link you to a contact form. (When prompted to "Select an Issue" choose COVID-19, Bill/Legislation, or whichever most closely relates to your comment.) You can also contact members of the budget committees (Senate and Assembly), Senate President Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, or Governor Newsom.
- Submit a comment about the need to EXTEND and EXPAND tenant protections. Here are a few talking points:
- Identify yourself as a resident in CA and also your role in your organization or institution (e.g. your place of worship, nonprofit affiliation)
- More than a million CA families are at risk of eviction if the state does not act now to expand and extend protections for renters.
- We must extend the eviction moratorium until the end of 2021, or we will see an explosion in our state's homelessness crisis.
- Amend SB 91 to expand eligibility and allow more flexibility in distribution. Senate Bill 91 only provides relief to tenants who owe back rent directly to their landlords. Many renters borrowed from payday lenders, family, friends and others to keep their rent current, or sublease from others.
- In order for families to get back to work and repay their debts, tenants need the flexibility to use rental relief funds to prepay rent for at least 6 months.
- SB 91 must be expanded to include families who sublease.
We are committed to leveraging available resource to prevent homelessness and hunger. We are working around the clock to get relief to our families…but we need more time. Please, join us in this crucially important effort.
California Rental-Relief Program & Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System
California Eviction Protection Bill No. 3088
On August 31, 2020, the state legislature passed the AB 3088 bill, an emergency stop-gap measure to protect tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19 from eviction. Protections include the following:
- Landlords cannot evict a tenant for not paying their rent until October 5, 2020.
- For tenants impacted by COVID-19 (such as loss of job or income):
- Tenants must pay 25% of rent due from September 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021.
- Tenants have 15 days (instead of 3 days) to respond to notices for non-payment of rent.
- Tenants in Santa Clara County are still protected against evictions that are not that tenant's fault.
For more information, click here.
We will update you on the changes to the local Santa Clara County eviction moratorium in light of the AB 3088 bill as information becomes available.
Free Telehealth Counseling
La Selva Community Clinic's COVID Support program is offering free telehealth counseling to uninsured and under-insured individuals that live in Santa Clara County and have been impacted by the pandemic. This program is also open to uninsured healthcare providers. Services are short-term and available in both English and Spanish. If you are interested in receiving free telehealth services, please contact Karen Salas-Caballero, AMFT #94947 at (408) 757-8449.
Karen is supervised by Martha Zambrano, LMFT #84332.
City of Sunnyvale and County of Santa Clara Temporary Eviction Moratorium Updates
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the County of Santa Clara has extended its eviction moratorium through August 31, 2020. The moratorium prohibits residential and small business evictions if a tenant is unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 emergency. Tenants now have up to 6 months after the moratorium expires or terminates to repay at least 50% of the past-due rent, and up to 12 months after the moratorium expires or terminates to repay in full the past-due rent. Landlords are not allowed to charge or collect late fees. See the County of Santa Clara's information page on the eviction moratorium for additional details. It includes the forms that landlords and tenants will need to fill out to comply with the ordinance in the case that any evictions are filed.
The City of Sunnyvale's temporary emergency eviction moratorium applies to residential leases only and is effective from March 12, 2020 through the end of the local emergency. Tenants must show proof of hardship to their landlord and pay back all rent within 180 days after the local emergency has ended. The city recommends that tenants notify their landlords that they are protected from evictions by filling out this form. For more information, download this flier.
Immediate Change in SCS Operations
This afternoon, July 7th, we learned that a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. This staff member had last visited our site on July 2nd. For the safety of all, we are temporarily closing the building and suspending all food distributions through Monday, July 13 while we follow all safety protocols from the County of Santa Clara, State of CA, and CDC, including sanitizing the building. All client services except for food distributions remain operational via phone and email. Anyone needing assistance should call our main phone: (408) 738-4321. Please be patient as we manage our services remotely during this time. We are doing all we can to provide essential services during the pandemic. Please continue to visit this page as we provide further updates.
UPDATE: As of Thursday, July 16th, the front lobby and intercom system for clients has been reopened, and the building has been reopened to staff. Food distributions are back in operation. The building has been fully deep cleaned, and the air has been fully re-circulated.
Add Your Name to the Interest List for Financial Assistance for Very-Low-Income Residents
The agency managing financial assistance for Santa Clara County residents impacted by COVID-19 is now accepting applications on their Interest List; add your name if you meet the new eligibility criteria. Please note: this round of assistance will focus on those with the greatest need. Also, there is no guarantee that the agency will be able to provide assistance to any households on the Interest List. However, when/if additional funding becomes available, they will contact eligible households on the Interest List with information on how they can complete an application.
No Mask, No Ride
The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is now requiring that every passenger wear a mask or face covering when boarding and riding any VTA transportation. You can find details on this requirement here. Please visit the CDC for details on the use of cloth face coverings.
Tenant's Rights Overview
The Asian Law Alliance has produced a video on the topic of Santa Clara County's moratorium on evictions related to COVID-19. This brief presentation provides answers to key questions about the rights of tenants and things you can do to protect yourself during this pandemic.
Added food resources
Recent actions by local organizations, the City of Sunnyvale, and the State of California have opened up access to meals, food delivery and additional groceries.
Self-Help for the Elderly is offering nutritious meal delivery for seniors throughout the Bay Area.
The City of Sunnyvale offers a variety of food and prescription delivery for older adult residents.
Sunnyvale School District has posted a listing of hours and locations for free breakfast, lunch and dinner pick-ups.
The State of CA has enabled the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards at Amazon and Walmart, and beginning May 2020, families with eligible school-aged children will receive an additional $365 per eligible child in Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) funding; find more information here.
Financial Assistance for Low-Income Residents Impacted by COVID-19
The agency managing financial assistance for Santa Clara County residents impacted by COVID-19 has reached the maximum capacity of households that will be able to be served with the initial $11 million in collected contributions. As a result, they are no longer accepting applications for financial assistance.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, please consider adding your name to the following Interest List. Please note: there is no guarantee that the agency will be able to provide assistance to any households on the Interest List. However, when/If additional funding becomes available, they will contact eligible households on the Interest List with information on how they can complete an application.
For those who already submitted an application: Please note: due to the extremely high rate of submissions, it is taking the agency longer than initially expected to process and respond to all applications. It will likely take up to 14 days before they can respond to your application. To help the agency's staff work as quickly as possible, they ask that you please wait until 7 days have passed before you call (408-780-9134) or email the agency to check the status of your application. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
With the shelter-in-place order issued by the Health Officer of Santa Clara County, SCS is modifying its food distribution and client management practices immediately. As an essential-services agency, SCS remains open to support our clients; however, the building will be closed to outside visitors and clients. Emergency food and monthly food distribution will continue, and we are replacing in-person contact with telephone, email, and texting support for financial assistance and client administration. Please call our offices for current information and to request an appointment with our case workers: 408 738 4321.
Unfortunately, the annual SCS Donor-Volunteer Recognition Event has also been cancelled. We will continue to update our community as we navigate this pandemic. Thank you for your unwavering assistance and support.
DONATIONS: We are currently suspending food and other in-kind donations; Second Harvest of Silicon Valley will maintain our supply of healthy client food. Gift cards and monetary donations are greatly appreciated at this time as our clients lose work hours and struggle to pay their bills.
Please visit the websites for the CDC and the Santa Clara Department of Public Health for more information about the coronavirus COVID-19 and what you can do to help protect yourself and those around you.