Phoenix Funds Aid To Refugees Affected By The Coronavirus

Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 5:52pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 6:51pm
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Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Kate Gallego

The city of Phoenix has approved a multimillion-dollar package for refugees and asylum seekers affected by the coronavirus.

The money is part of what Phoenix received through the federal CARES Act.

At least $1.6 million is to be funneled directly to refugees and asylum seekers. Most of it is to help pay rent, mortgages and utilities. The rest is for small-business grants aimed at keeping doors open.

“I hope it sends a strong message that Phoenix is a welcoming city and that we are supporting those who do essential work to keep our community going,” said Mayor Kate Gallego.

One nonprofit leader told the Phoenix City Council that most of the new arrivals who the group helped in the last year lost jobs or had their hours cut when the pandemic started. Several other leaders spoke in favor of the package at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We (also) set aside $1 million for competitive grants for nonprofits to tell us what they see as the biggest needs and then receive funding to serve the community,” said Gallego. 

Nonprofits can use some of that money for administrative costs, and the city hopes to start funding programs in June.

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