DENVER — A Denver faith-based nonprofit organization is helping Black women struggling financially with a cash assistance program.
On Juneteenth, Soul 2 Soul Sisters, a nonprofit, launched a COVID-19 cash assistance program for Black women. Applicants can request $50 to $350.
“The funds can be used for any personal, medical professional expenses,” said Niyankor Ajuaj, a spokesperson with the nonprofit.
The initial goal of the program was to help 90 to 100 Black women living in Colorado, and so far, more than 500 have applied.
“We are finding out that it’s not business as usual for a lot of Black women in our community due to the fact that they are behind on so many different payments, like rent, the car, childcare, school,” Ajuaj said. "We are hoping that we can help all the Black women that apply."
The organization hopes by providing financial assistance to Black women, they can also boost vaccination rates.
“The narrative is, 'How can I get vaccinated when I don’t even know how I am going to feed my kids today?'” Ajuaj said.
The pandemic impacted minority communities at a greater rate and drove millions of women out of the workforce.
A study conducted by UCLA found that at the end of 2020, Latinas and Black women had nearly double the unemployment rate of their white counterparts, according to the Associated Press.
Lauren Hawkins applied for the program. She is a single mother on a fixed income. Hawkins said she only receives $215 dollars a month from the government.
“I’m struggling, barely making ends meet,” Hawkins said.
She says she’s been out of work for eight years after undergoing reconstructive foot surgery. If Hawkins is selected, she plans to use the money for rent, food or her cell phone bill.
The application for the COVID-19 cash assistance program can be accessed in the Instagram bio of Souls 2 Souls Sisters. The deadline to apply is Saturday, June 26 at 11:59 p.m.
“Cash assistance is open to anybody who lives in the state of Colorado who identifies as a Black woman and in need of financial assistance,” Ajuaj said.
Money is already being dispersed to applicants by check and Paypal. The organization is also accepting donations online to assure everyone’s needs are met.