COVID-19 Response: The Worker Assistance Fund (WAF)
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San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund

San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative

During our 100-year history, we have always been here for those who need additional support, and the current health crisis of COVID-19 is no different. We are hosting the San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative as part of the greater San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund, to provide flexible resources to individuals impacted by layoffs and reduced working hours implemented by employers. We plan to support our community in response to crisis situations and emergencies now and in the future.

Who It’s For: Low-wage workers who need support for a limited but undetermined length of time

What The Money Goes Toward: Utilities and rent/mortgage payments

Our Aim: Complement the work of public health officials to prevent the need to enter the social services system of care and prevent homelessness

United Way is uniquely positioned to process and deploy capital quickly and efficiently to individuals, as we currently administer SDG&E’s Neighbor to Neighbor Fund.


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Through this partnership, we support:

  • Individuals in crisis, through the San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative
  • Nonprofit organizations in our region working with communities disproportionately impacted by the crisis through The San Diego Foundation –> to support local nonprofits, visit TSDF’s website

United Way of San Diego County is grateful for the support of The San Diego Foundation and SDG&E, who serve as lead investors of this initiative. We encourage you to join the effort to deploy much-needed capital into the hands of some of our most vulnerable neighbors.

Need Help?

Due to an extremely high volume of applications, United Way of San Diego County has decided to put a hold on accepting new applications for the Worker Assistance Initiative until more money is raised. Our team will continue to process requests that have been received and deploy the funds that we have available ($1.4 million as of April 6, 2020).

We are committed to supporting individuals and families in our community who have experienced job loss or wage reduction due to COVID-19, and will continue to raise money for the initiative. We are also monitoring the provisions and changes to the CARES Act to ensure that we are serving those who are experiencing the greatest need. We will reopen the application process to assist more individuals and families in need as more funds are made available.

For questions, please refer to our FAQs for Applicants.

⚠️ NOTICE: If you have applied for assistance with our Worker Assistance Initiative and have not received any communication, please check your email junk or spam folders. While we have not processed all applications, we have sent out communications to over 3500 applicants asking for additional information and are still waiting for updates to be made to their applications.

Support Our Community


Join UWSD in supporting low-wage workers and their families whose incomes have been negatively impacted during this time of uncertainty.

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Want to donate your time to a local organization in need of support? Interested in donating relief items? Find out about other ways to help those in our community who need it most.


Thank You To Our Generous Donors

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For more information about the San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative, please contact