Chicana/o Studies – Publishing an Alternative View Since 1970 – CSU, Northridge

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El Popo Staff has 172 articles published.

MataCare Emergency Grant

in The Word is Text by

by El Popo Staff

Due to a change in processing of checks during this time, it may take 10-14 days to receive grant funds from the time we receive your application. However, your application will still be reviewed within 3 to 5 days.  Applications continue to be accepted via mail.

The deadline for Spring 2020 is May 6th.

For information about other resources please visit www.csun.edu/heart

The MataCare Grant exists to help students with unexpected urgent financial needs. The MataCare Grant Fund was established through generous contributions from alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the university who want to assist in removing unanticipated financial roadblocks to student degree completion and well-being.  The Grant is not a loan and does not need to be repaid. 

Matriculated CSUN students in good standing can apply for a MataCare Grant up to two times during their career at CSUN.  These grants are meant to address urgent one-time needs.  Students with ongoing issues should meet with a financial aid counselor to develop long-term solutions.  The Financial Aid and Scholarship Department is located in the first floor Student Lobby in Bayramian Hall.

The amount of a MataCare Grant depends on the nature of an individual request, documentation provided and the availability of funds, however the average award amount is $550. Most applications will be reviewed and receive a decision within 3-5 days.  If approved, funds will usually be issued within a week of submitting your application.  Applicants will be notified of the outcome by email.  Sign up for e-refund on your portal to have funds deposited directly into your checking account.

To be eligible to receive a MataCare Grant a student must:

  • Be enrolled in required minimum of units (6 units undergraduate and credential; 3 units for graduate, certificate)
  • Have paid all outstanding charges to the university in full or be up to date on payment plan
  • Be able to demonstrate an urgent financial need (Providing supporting documentation where appropriate)
  • Have exhausted all sources of financial assistance and aid, including Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Be in good conduct and academic standing (2.00 GPA. undergrads; 3.00 GPA credential, graduate, certificate)

Applications must include documentation that supports the request, if appropriate.  Documentation can include receipts, bills, leases, police reports, pay stubs, letters, news reports, obituaries, etc.  If documentation is unavailable, attach a statement that explains why there is no documentation.

If you have any questions about the MataCare Grant Program; the process, the application, your situation, please see our FAQ’s or contact emily.fitch@csun.edu.

MataCare Grant Application  – click here for the application form and submit along with a signed statement and supporting documentation.

Submission: We do not currently have an online submission option for MataCare.  Please submit your complete application to the Financial Aid Office either by mail to 18111 Nordhoff St. Northridge, CA 91330-8307 or by fax to (818) 677-6787.

However, some students are using web services such as faxzero.com, gotfreefax.com or mobile apps such as Fax Burner and FaxFile to email their applications to our fax machine so we’d like to share those options as a possible way to submit your application online.

All documents submitted will be kept private and will not be shared with any other department or government agency.

FREE FOOD RESOURCES FOR LA COUNTY RESIDENTS DURING COVID-19 CRISIS AND WAYS TO HELP

in Uncategorized by

by El Popo Staff

Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, April 21, 2020)—An estimated 2 million people in Los Angeles County suffer from food-insecurity issues on an ongoing basis. That vulnerable community is sure to swell because of pandemic-related economic losses in the months to come, but Los Angeles County is committed to preventing hunger and ensuring access to food for all residents. The County is currently mobilizing a Countywide response to hunger by coordinating public agencies, nonprofits, and volunteers to provide meals to anyone in need during the weeks and months to come. The County is also launching new digital resources to help members of the public access food at no cost — including program sign-up information, maps, and frequently asked questions — all located on the County COVID-19 website

Individuals/Families in Need Can:

  • Get help with food expenses. CalFresh is a Nutrition Assistance Program that can help people in low-income households purchase food by increasing their food-buying power. Apply here and see eligibility requirements here.
  • Find free food near you. County agencies and partners that provide free groceries and meals are expanding their services during COVID-19. Click here to see options and find food distribution sites near you. Some programs also provide delivery.
  • Get food delivery assistance. The County has launched a Critical Delivery Services program to deliver food and other vital items to adults age 60+ and individuals with disabilities who are unable to leave their homes due to COVID-19. Items must be prepaid and ready for pick-up. There is no cost to the client for delivery. For more information, click here or call 1-888-863-7411.
  • For assistance, or if you do not have access to the Internet, please dial 2-1-1. Multilingual operators are available to help members of the public find free food resources. 

Service Providers/Nonprofits in Need Can:

  • Request volunteers. L.A. Works matches community organizations with volunteer labor and other resources. More information here.
  • Request food to redistribute. The L.A. Regional Food Bank is accepting new applications for partner agencies. Partner agencies receive free food and re-distribute it to community members. More information here.
  • Join a food recovery network. There are a number of organizations that use mobile apps with matching technology to recover unused food from restaurants and other businesses and re-distribute it to communities in need. If you are interested in donating food or receiving donated food to re-distribute, look for the following in your mobile app store:

Here Are Other Ways Los Angeles County Residents Can Help: 

  • Giving food-related offers and donations. Does your business or organization seek to sell or donate food-related resources to support COVID-19 response efforts?  The County is helping to match available food resources with those in need. Fill out an online questionnaire to let us know what food resources you have to share. Our partner providers are in need of food resources, services, and equipment including:
    • Prepared meals ready-to-eat meals: no heating required
    • Prepared meals: just heat and service
    • Groceries: non-perishable, shelf stable food items and perishable food such as produce, meats, and dairy
    • Specialty foods: Vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and other specialty options
    • Food delivery: drivers and vehicles, including special vehicle types such as refrigerated trucks
  • Other types of donation and support. Looking for other ways to lend a hand during this crisis? Explore the County’s COVID-19 resource page to learn how you can help, from doing wellness checks on older neighbors to donating blood.
  • Starting a food pantry. Interested in offering free food to community members? If you already have food to re-distribute or are planning to collect food items from private sources, please follow these Guidelines for Charitable Feeding Operations. If you are interested in receiving donated food to re-distribute, consider partnering with the L.A. Regional Food Bank, which is currently accepting new applications for partner pantries. More information here.
  • Joining a food recovery network. There are a number of organizations that use mobile apps with matching technology to recover unused food from restaurants and other businesses and re-distribute it to communities in need. If you work for a restaurant or other business that is interested in donating food, look for the following in your mobile app store:
  • Volunteer your time. L.A. Works matches community organizations with volunteer labor and other resources. More information here.

Resources for DV and Child Abuse in LA County

in The Word is Text by

El Popo Staff

LA COUNTY RESOURCES AND SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE CONCERNS DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

Los Angeles, CA (Monday, April 20, 2020)—Los Angeles County recognizes that staying home is not always a safe option for victims experiencing domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, from 2019 to 2020, domestic violence calls for services have risen in LA County from 863 to 933, an 8.11 percent increase. For people experiencing domestic violence amid the Safer at Home Order, there are services and resources available 24/7 for those who need it. You are not alone. 

L.A. County’s Domestic Violence Services remain available. Shelters are open and accepting people. If you are a victim of domestic violence and need help, resources include: 

  • Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-978-3600, or
  • You can also dial 2-1-1 any time to get connected with services and support in your area or visit 211la.org/domestic-violence.
  • Domestic violence legal services.
  • Dial 9-1-1. Law enforcement is still responding to domestic violence calls, and Emergency Protective Orders are still being issued.

The Violence Against Women Act allows certain non-citizens who are in abusive situations to petition without the assistance of the abusive spouse or parent, for lawful permanent residency. These persons may include:

  • The spouse of a US citizen or legal permanent resident when the abuser is the US citizen, legal resident spouse or a member of his/her family living in the home.
  • The child of a US citizen or legal permanent resident when the abuser is the parent/parent’s spouse or a family member of the parent or parent’s spouse living in the home.
  • The child of the battered spouse.
  • The parent of the battered child.

More information is available at the Department of Public Social Services website.  

Many victims of domestic violence do not leave abusive situations because domestic violence shelters do not accept pets, and they and their pets are forced to endure abuse. For pet owners, LA County Animal Care and Control (DACC) can assist people who are experiencing safe housing issues. To find safe animal centers near you, DACC has provided a map of their locations. 

  • The COLA-HI program provides temporary sheltering for pets belonging to people experiencing homelessness.
  • The Ani-Safe program provides temporary housing to pets belonging to victims of domestic violence.
  • DACC will provide confidential and safe housing for these animals so victims can get the services they need and move into safe living arrangements. 
  • The pets are later reunited with their owners when they have found permanent safe housing.
  • DACC has greatly expanded its fostering program so people can quickly and safely choose a pet to take into their home for a period of time, providing that animal with a calm and nurturing home environment. 
  • Contact DACC for more information.

The consequencs of the COVID-19 pandemic has created the conditions that allow for child abuse to go undetected. Educators are the primary source of reports (20 percent) to child protective services nationwide. However, teachers, guidance counselors, and day care providers who usually serve as lifelines for vulnerable children are no longer in a daily position to witness and report suspected abuse. There are ways everyone can do their part to protect children:

  • People who are concerned about a particular family can help by doing small things to ease the stress that comes with this time. Whether in the form of food, toilet paper, coloring books or just an empathetic ear, these acts of support while keeping social distancing can make a difference and ease parents’ stress. 
  • Make use of technology for virtual check-ins. Look for signs of distress and be a supportive presence.
  • Form parent groups to conduct remote learning for children under 5, because those younger children are at highest risk for abuse.
  • How to report child abuse in LA County: The LA County Office of Child Protection is a policy-making body and does not handle any direct cases. All inquiries or reporting of specific cases should be made to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). To report child abuse in LA County, CA, please contact the Child Protection Hotline at 1-800-540-4000 or visit the DCFS website
  • If you have an immediate emergency, call 911 or your local police department; otherwise, call DFCS Child Protective Services to report child abuse and/or neglect.
  • For parents and caregivers: Find the Community-Based Organization offering preventive and support services in your Service Planning Area to call them directly, or call your Regional Office to get connected. You can also call (213) 336-2854 to speak to DCFS Preventive and Support Services staff.

Taxes, Latinos and Technology

in The Word is Text by
Image of a yellow sigen with TAX REFUND AHEAD

by Aileen Ramirez, El Popo Staff

Tax Professionals are essential workers too!

Another job title that the news failed to recognize as heroes who continued to work during this COVID-19 pandemic were tax professionals. Many individuals rushed to get their taxes done because they were going to be dependent on any refunds they may have received from the IRS and/or the FTB after many Americans lost their jobs. 

Majority of these tax appointments can be done over the phone. All the tax preparer needs are all tax documents to be sent over via mail, email, fax, or personally dropped off with a number they can easily be reached. This is how HNR Clark, a tax office in Burbank, CA continued to operate his business. About 40% of HNR Clark’s appointments are already done over the phone; therefore, switching over ALL appointments to be done over the phone was a bit less chaotic than expected. 

T’s Tax Services is a newly tax office in Burbank with majority of their clients being Latinos. The owner of the place is Teresa Ramirez and she is an enrolled agent. Many of her clients called as soon as we went into quarantine, with hopes to be seen that week or later. However, none were capable to do an appointment over the phone. Many of her clients do not have access to a fax machine or scanner to upload documents to a laptop/desktop, as David Lopez stated, “I’m sorry I don’t have an email, nor a laptop to forward my tax information.” The places that have these devices are temporarily closed. Those who have iPhones only use their smart phone to send calls and texts. They do not have an email of their own to even attach documents to send over. Albeit, their only other option was to wait until how long this quarantine lasts, and see if they could get an appointment before July 15 since the IRS and FTB gave a 90 day extension to file taxes. On another occasion, Joanna Silva had an appointment already scheduled for Monday, March 30, 2020. She was asked if she would like to move her appointment to over the phone and she said, “No, I think I’d rather wait until I can get an in person with you”.

According to an article by Pew Research Center, “25% of Hispanics and 23% of blacks are “smart phone” only internet users — meaning they lack a home broadband service but do own a smart phone. By comparison, 12% of whites fall into this category.” Latinos rely only on their smart phones to get access to the EDD to apply to unemployment or other health and government facilities. Even those with a desktop or laptop are not tech savvy and need assistance to browse the internet. On another study, a public library ran a survey to latinos and blacks and asked if they would be interested in a free class that would teach them how to become more tech savvy and know basic digital skills. 48% of latinos were interested, 46% of blacks, and only 20% of whites said the course would be beneficial. 

Parts of the Latinx community are missing out on opportunities that technology can facilitate. Affording access to broadband or use of apps on the smartphone can help with submitting missing tax information such as a 1095A, the health insurance form that you need to file a tax return. Given the current Safer-at-Home instructions, the community struggles to send the information. Without access to the internet other use of certain apps, the yearly tax ritual under COVID-19 is increasingly difficult. Having the tax day pushed to July 15, eases the burdens.

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