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Coronavirus Crisis Underlines Weak Spots in U.S. Economic System

“We went from 0 to 60 in five seconds,” said Kim Guadagno, chief executive and president of Fulfil. Hurricane Sandy was devastating in 2012, she said, but it is worse because “the need is widespread, there is no end in sight.”

Last year, before the epidemic, Food America, the nation’s largest food bank, fed 40 million individuals, many of them children, said chief executive Claire Babinow-Fontenot. “It underscores the fact that many people in our country live on a hunt,” she said.

Housing also seems less secure. A recent survey by SurveyMonkey & Apartment List, an online rental marketplace based in San Francisco, showed that a quarter of renters do not pay their share or any rents this month.

“This number is very worrying,” said Igor Popov, chief economist at Apartment List. “In a general economic downturn, when income is a hit, many families may be together more or less to reduce their rent payments. At a time when we are sheltering from place to place, even steps for downgraded housing are difficult. “

Those who have been squeezed the most can be squeezed even more.

Prior to the outbreak of Coronavirus, Destination: Home, a Silicon Valley nonprofit that works to prevent homelessness, was on track to give $ 7 million in financial aid to nearly 1,000 families. In March, the organization raised an additional $ 11 million for coronovirus relief, but was overwhelmed with demand – 4,500 requests in three days – and stopped accepting applications. There are about 10,000 people on the waiting list and growing each day.

“I felt that there is nothing that I don’t get into when I become homeless, Destination Chief Executive Jennifer Loving said,” but it’s incomprehensible. “

In A report on the economic impact of coronavirusThe Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has warned that the biggest burden will fall on those who are already the most vulnerable – people in low-paying, unsecured jobs.

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