Madison Lends a Helping Hand to Our Undocumented Immigrant Population
COVID-19 has hit many Madison families hard. Many are still dealing with the ramifications of personal illness, job-loss, child care shortages, rental arrears and harms to small businesses.
In July 2021, I submitted, and the Common Council approved, a plan to allocate federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to a variety of community priorities, supporting the recovery of residents and economy over two years. Funds were allocated for affordable housing and sheltering the homeless, for youth programming and violence prevention, for economic development and small business assistance as well as emerging needs.
As part of this effort, I targeted $700,000 of these funds to community-based organizations (CBOs) serving undocumented immigrant residents in the City of Madison.
I recognize that undocumented immigrant residents face many barriers that may make them ineligible for or limit their access to public benefits like unemployment insurance, compounding the trauma of COVID for countless families.
The City’s Community Development Division went through a process to solicit requests and input from agencies that serve undocumented immigrants and I am happy to say that eight CBOs have been awarded funds to support this population. Selected agencies will work with residents to address barriers to service access and address economic and social challenges brought about or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funds are intended to be flexible, and will be made available to provide direct financial assistance, support for services such as legal assistance, job training, language learning, access to mental health, etc., or offer additional support for other needs identified by the individual and families.
The CBOs funded are:
African Center for Community Development
Catholic Multicultural Center
Community Immigration Law Center
Latino Academy for Workforce Development
The Rainbow Project
Vera Court Neighborhood Center
I want to thank all of these groups for the good work they do in our community.