SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Office of the Mayor announced expanded COVID-related support for the Latino community, which they said has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The $28.5 million effort is led by the Department of Public Health in partnership with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and will fund $22.5 million to support the Latino community with various solutions focusing on health, housing, food access, workforce, and small businesses. 

The Department of Public Health reported that Latinos make up 50% percent of reported cases of COVID-19 in San Francisco despite making up 15% of the city’s population. The effect of COVID-19 on the Latino community “can be traced back to crowded living conditions and the high number of frontline and essential workers who are Latino.” 

According to the announcement, funds will provide for community organizations “doing the work on the ground”, led by the Latino Task Force (LTF) and the Latino Parity and Equity Coalition (SFLPEC). 

The Latino Task Force, a group of volunteers which formed in Mission District back in March, partnered with the University of California San Francisco, to move the City to action by finding evidence that the Latino community was disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Results from the Mission District COVID-19 testing showed that 44 percent of the population who were tested were Latino, and out of those, 95.1 percent tested positive for the virus.

In late July, the City announced a new mobile testing site in the Mission at the LTF resource hub on Alabama Street where The San Francisco Department of Public Health administered COVID-19 tests. The LTF has also published a multi-language website with coronavirus resources for the community. 

SFLPEC, the other community organization, represents members of nonprofits, housing, immigration, social service, and advocate groups established that believe the city’s budget and policies should promote investments reducing inequities for the Latino community. According to SFLPEC’s website, “We concentrate on six important subjects to address disparities and formulate solutions: Arts and Culture, Education, Health, Housing, Immigration, and Workforce.”

Mayor London Breed commented on the announcement.

“Our Latino community has borne the brunt of the COVID pandemic not just here in San Francisco, but across the country. While we have provided support for food access and financial assistance, it hasn’t been enough,” she said. “We can do more to support those who have been going to work day after day and who too often live in crowded conditions that make it hard to isolate. By working with the community, we have identified targeted areas of need that will help trusted leaders reach our most vulnerable where they are and provide the support to keep the community healthy.”