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How to help those who can't pay their bills in San Diego

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council is one of the partners on the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund that is here to help.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The first of the month means rent, mortgage, and utility bills are due for many, but with many struggling to make ends meet due to the coronavirus crisis, people just cannot pay.

Jesse Ross spent his savings traveling to South East Asia thinking he would be coming back to his job as a bartender at Fernside in South Park. 

"They pretty much laid off everybody except a few senior employees to help with take-out," said Ross. 

He is one of the many San Diegans who are struggling now to make ends meet.

The San Diego County United Way Worker Assistance Initiative is here to help people like Ross.

So far more than 6,500 people have applied for the program in a short period of time.

Keith Maddox, executive secretary-treasurer for San Diego's labor council said the program helps off-set some costs like utility bills, rent, and mortgage for those struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"So many people here in this town live paycheck to paycheck. It's a struggle no matter if you make good money. Don't hesitate to ask for help," added Maddox.

Community donations are vital for San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative. The current funding need is still more than $9 million.

Click here to learn more and apply for assistance. If you would like to help, click here to donate.  

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NEWS 8 joined forces with The San Diego Foundation to raise IMMEDIATE, EMERGENCY FUNDS for our most vulnerable neighbors in need. Here is how you can help. 

BACKGROUND: 

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing. 

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 

  • Stay home when you are sick. 

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. 

The CDC also says facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the virus. If you’re not sick, you do not have to wear a facemask.