A Message To Friends & Supporters

We want to take this moment to update you on Chinatown Community Development Center’s response to the COVID 19 Pandemic. On March 16, Mayor London Breed ordered San Franciscans to “Shelter-in- Place.” Last night Governor Newsom extended the Shelter-in-Place order to all California residents.

The exception to this is individuals traveling into or around San Francisco to conduct essential activities or to support the work of an Essential Business. Among other things, an Essential Business is defined as an entity that provides shelter, food, social services, and other necessities of life. Chinatown CDC is an Essential Business under this definition. Our work must carry on. Chinatown CDC will need to make a number of adjustments to balance the dual priorities of carrying on our work and keeping our staff and residents safe. This starts with identifying our key priorities or “essential activities” during this time and shifting our resources to support them.

First, Chinatown CDC will keep its buildings operational and safe. We own and operate over 3,000 units of 100% affordable housing. Well over 50% of our population are among those most vulnerable to COVID 19’s worst health impacts. Many live in high-density single room occupancy hotels that facilitate transmission without intervention. We will continue to provide (a) sanitization services (which we have doubled in intensity), (b) essential maintenance, and (c) a safe and secure premises.

Second, Chinatown CDC will keep its residents and tenants healthy, connected, informed, and as stabilized as possible. Concretely, this means at least four key service priorities: food security for homebound or isolated households, wellness checks and access to health resources like testing when available and health care, housing stabilization including eviction defense and access to public benefits necessary to keep their housing stable, and continuous education on key public health issues related to the COVID 19 pandemic. While some of this work can be and is being performed from home, much of it necessarily requires our staff and volunteers to come on-site.

With that said, we are committed to keeping our staff who do need to be on-site safe — which means strict adherence to social distancing protocols or provision of personal protective equipment. This means reconfiguration of workspaces and shifting to communication via phone or videoconferencing. In some cases, this will mean more effort and coordination to accomplish simple tasks. And, this means increased costs for additional space, supplies, and staff. We are committed to exhausting all avenues to keeping our staff safe while serving our residents and communities.

Third, we will continue to advocate for Chinatown and its low-income populations. Residents living in SROs are most disadvantaged and run the risk of being ignored. And, because of the necessary social distancing required to slow down COVID 19 transmission, Chinatown small businesses WILL BE shutting down. Advocacy for the literal survival of Chinatown has never been more important.

Fourth, development of new and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing will slow down, but not stop.

As always, take care and stay healthy.

Our Team at Chinatown CDC


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Tel: (415) 984-1450 | E-mail: info@chinatowncdc.org