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Resources for DACA and undocumented students during COVID-19

As the city of Oakland extends its shelter-in-place to May 31, many residents continue to face personal challenges due to an unplanned loss of income with the ordered closure of non-essential businesses.

Near the end of March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist Americans with the economic impacts of the pandemic. The $2 trillion package will be dispersed nationally; however, it will exclude people who are facing the same circumstances and are undocumented.

Mills College received an allocation of the CARES Act in the form of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to assist students with emergency expenses due to COVID-19, however, DACA and undocumented students were advised to contact the Dean of Students for alternative options for assistance.

Here is a list of resources aimed to support undocumented communities. If you are able to, please consider donating to an emergency fund or volunteering at an assistance-based organization.

Financial assistance

The Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation is an emergency fund that can be accessed online or by phone: (360) 524-3664. Representatives speak both English and Spanish.

The Mission Asset Fund is offering a $500 grant to immigrant families. The requirements for eligibility are not being eligible for the CARES Act relief, having earned less than $99,000 or a household income of less than $198,000 in 2019, and having experienced an unplanned loss of income due to COVID-19.

UndocuFund SF is a community organization created to direct grants from California’s $75 million Disaster Relief Fund to undocumented individuals and families living in San Francisco. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) intends for funds to be dispersed beginning mid-May 2020.

Medical assistance

In the state of California, all residents are eligible to receive emergency Medi-Cal services regardless of immigration status.

The Health Care Program of Alameda County, or HealthPAC, provides low-cost healthcare to uninsured people, those not enrolled in Medi-Cal or private insurance.

Organizations providing food

The Alameda Food Bank continues to provide nutritious food to communities in the Bay Area for free. Distributions take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. The food bank is located at 650 West Ranger Avenue, Alameda. Their website remains updated with changes regarding how the pandemic will affect the organization, and how and where to get food.

The Feed My Sheep Food Program provides lunch bags, nutritional boxes, and clothing for women, men and children. Their hours of operation are every third Saturday of the month at 8825 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland.

The San Francisco/Marin Food Bank holds pantry pop-ups in the SF and Marin area for people to pick up groceries for their families. Their website has an updated list of locations and times of operation. You do not need to show ID or sign-in to receive groceries.

The Oakland Unified School District is providing “Grab and Go” meals for students under 18 to bring home using their own grocery bag or cooler. Monday through Thursday, 12 schools open from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. to provide children multiple days’ worth of food.

For more resources, see for an extensive list organized by the city and state.