Description

The Anti-Violence Program at OutFront Minnesota is currently accepting applications from LGBTQ+ individuals living in Minnesota, for immediate financial relief.  The financial upset as a result of COVID-19 is alarming.  While this pandemic is causing significant strain on all people, we recognize that communities surviving in an inequitable, capitalist, racist and oppressive society are impacted on a deeper level.  

LGBTQ+ communities, and in particular queer and transgender BIPOC communities, experience greater economic disparities across the board.  According to the National LGBTQ Task Force, “Food insecurity, housing instability, low-wage earning potential, and unemployment and under-employment are all heightened for LGBTQ+ communities.”  Add a global pandemic, and these consequences become all the more devastating.

This financial relief fund, made possible through the kindness of the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for Coronavirus, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota, the Women's Foundation of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Foundation, is now open.  If you identify as LGBTQ+, have been impacted by COVID-19 and/or have experienced violence, please apply (see eligibility criteria below).  These applications will be carefully reviewed by the Anti-Violence Program team at OutFront Minnesota.

Award Amount

We wish we could do more! At this time, the LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Relief Fund is a one-time award and will be given to individuals based on a needs-based, incremental scale. Amounts awarded will be between $250 and $2500.

Application Due Date

Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. on May 31st, 2020. Applications submitted after May 31st, 2020 will not be considered.

Financial Relief Disbursement Date

Award recipients will be selected and notified by June 15th, 2020 and can expect a check to be mailed to them no later than June 30th, 2020.  We appreciate your patience during the selection and disbursement process.

What You Will Need to Apply

  • One form of ID (i.e. utility bill, driver’s license/ID, passport, student visa, student ID, permanent resident card, birth certificate, REAL ID, social security card, voter registration card, legal document (marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.), tribal ID card or INAC card, medical record, health insurance card, W-2, other tax document)
  • Current residence (if you are currently without housing, please provide us with your most recent address)
  • Current mailing address (a P.O. box can be used)
  • Optional - If comfortable/able you are welcome to submit other documentation supporting any claims of financial hardships (current income, county benefits, loss of wages, loss of job, bank statements, medical conditions, bills, debt collection letters, letters from a landlord or bank, etc.). Submitting additional documents is not required for eligibility.

You are eligible to apply if you are: 

  • 18 years of age, or older 
  • Someone who identifies as LGBTQ+ AND
  • Experiencing hardship due to COVID-19 and/or are a victim/survivor of violence

If you would like to donate to the LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Relief Fund, click below. 100% of your donation will go to LGBTQ+ community members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Important Note to Applicants

Often, emergency financial assistance opportunities require specific criteria, documentation and status that disqualify individuals in need.  At OutFront Minnesota, we seek to break down those barriers.  We believe it is neither helpful, nor empathetic to put up roadblocks around financial assistance.  Therefore, we want all applicants to know, that your ability to apply for and receive funds are NOT dependent on ANY of the following indicators:

  • Citizenship status
  • Criminal background
  • Current or former incarceration
  • Education level
  • Spoken language
  • Utilization of funds

AND applications will be reviewed on an objective basis and will not discriminate against any applicant for their:

  • Race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, ability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, AIDs/HIV status, medical conditions, public assistance status, political affiliations, military or veteran status, status as a victim/survivor of violence

COVID-19 Fund Award FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do I apply?

Please click here to apply.

What if I do not fill out the entire application?

Incomplete or inaccurate applications will be declined.  If you have technical errors with your application submission, you can either attempt to submit again or contact the Anti-Violence Program at covid19fund@outfront.org or at 612-767-7653.  *Please allow 3 business days for a response.

What if I do not have access to a computer?

There are two options available to individuals without access to a computer (or without an email address).

  1. We have applicant assistants available who can speak with you over the phone and fill it out on your behalf.
  2. We can mail a paper copy to you, with a return address and a stamp for an easy send back.

If you would like assistance filling it out over the phone, or need a paper copy mailed to you please contact the Anti-Violence Program at covid19fund@outfront.org or at 612-767-7653 to arrange.   *Please allow 3 business days for a response.

I am undocumented, can I apply?

Yes!  If for some reason you are unable to provide an ID as requested, please let us know in the application.  We will work with you, and do not want an ID to be a barrier for individuals to obtain this funding.

What if my abuser has access to my bank account?

We understand that this could very well be, or become an issue. We are able to earmark the funds (to maintain security of those funds) to the person they are issued to. In addition, we may consider holding the funds in a check/money order form until you are feeling safe enough in your particular situation to access them. Whatever the situation, if you are an award recipient, and need assistance protecting your funds, we will help as best as we can.

What will I need to provide?

Please see the “What Will I Need to Apply" section listed above.

Is there a deadline?

Yes. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 31st, 2020.

What can I expect after submitting an application?

If you emailed or left a voicemail when completing your application, you can expect to hear from someone within 3 business days. Once you successfully submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours. Otherwise, we will reach out if we have any further questions.

Can I apply on behalf of someone else?

Applications can be difficult to navigate.  If you have a friend or family member that needs help to apply, you are more than welcome to assist them.  However, it is that person for whom you applied, should they be awarded, that will receive funds.  If you are also in need, you must fill out an application for yourself separately.

Can I apply more than once?

No. Awards will only be given out one time.  However, if future funding allows another round of open applications, and you did not receive an award during this application period, we will look at your original application for consideration at that time.

When will I find out whether or not I received the funding?

You will be notified that you have been awarded funding by June 15th, 2020.  If you do not receive a notification by June 15th, 2020, that means you have not been awarded funding at this time.  There will be an option within your application to choose to automatically be considered for future rounds, should future funds become available.

My landlord is threatening to evict me now.  What should I do?

Governor Walz has declared a Peacetime Emergency and legal evictions in Minnesota are on pause during this emergency. If your landlord is attempting to evict you, you can contact Homeline MN at https://homelinemn.org/6356/executive-order-on-evictions-covid-19-information. They offer free legal assistance and information for Minnesota tenants.

You can also submit a Tenant Eviction Complaint Form for the Attorney General’s Office online at https://www.ag.state.mn.us/Office/Forms/TenantEvictionComplaint.asp.

What type of assistance does the fund provide?

While some types of emergency funding put rigid stipulations on what the funds can be allocated for, we understand life is not this simple. Putting up these types of restrictions can limit a person’s ability to support themselves in a way that makes sense for them.  You are the expert in your own life.  It is not our place to have control over how you utilize these funds.

How will OutFront Minnesota make award recipient decisions?

While each situation is unique and valid, there are certain factors that will be strongly taken into consideration while selecting award recipients.  Those factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Job loss/loss of income due to COVID-19
  • Housing insecurity - eviction (or threats of eviction)
  • Needing to move from your current residence, due to to an unsafe living situation
  • Experiences of violence in general
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or if you are at a high risk for contracting COVID-19
  • Medical expenses, utilities, and/or other unpaid bills due to COVID-19

What if I am not LGBTQ+?

We care deeply about our allies, and understand that you too are being impacted by this pandemic.  If you do not identify as LGBTQ+, but are in need of emergency financial assistance, you can find additional mutual aid funds at https://www.mutualaidhub.org.

You can also check out this Google Spreadsheet with other mutual aid funds and resources at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HEdNpLB5p-sieHVK-CtS8_N7SIUhlMpY6q1e8Je0ToY/edit?usp=sharing.

What if I don’t live in Minnesota?

This funding is specific to Minnesota residents. If you live in another state, you can visit https://www.mutualaidhub.org to find mutual aid funds and resources available in your area.

You can also check out this Google Spreadsheet with other mutual aid funds and resources at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HEdNpLB5p-sieHVK-CtS8_N7SIUhlMpY6q1e8Je0ToY/edit?usp=sharing.

What if I am under the age of 18?

This fund is for individuals 18 years of age or older.  That said, we recognize that COVID-19 is also having a significant impact on youth. Here are some resources available to LGBTQ+ youth in Minnesota:

Reclaim: RECLAIM increases access to mental health support so that queer and trans youth ages 12-26 may reclaim their lives from oppression in all its forms. https://www.reclaim.care

The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. https://www.thetrevorproject.org

Minnesota Alliance with Youth COVID-19 Resources: This is a resource page for youth in the state of Minnesota to get connected to resources in their area. https://mnyouth.net/myc/covid-19/covid-19-resources

You can also visit the OutFront Minnesota COVID-19 Resource Page for additional resources.

Can I call to check on the status of my individual application?

No. Due to capacity, and a high number of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback on individual applications.  If you submit an application, and are chosen to receive an award, that will be communicated to you no later than June 15th, 2020.  If you have not been contacted by that date, that means you were not selected as an award recipient.

What if I do not get an award?

Your hardships are valid, financial strain is overwhelming and we believe you are in need!  Our decisions are based on funding availability and not the validity of your story.  We are hopeful to receive more funding, so that individuals who do not receive awards this round, will be eligible again.  If you were not awarded funds, but selected to be automatically considered for potential future opportunities, we will contact you.

If I have additional questions, who can I contact?

Questions about the LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Relief Fund can be directed to the Anti-Violence Program at covid19fund@outfront.org or at 612-767-7653.   *Please allow 3 business days for a response.

 

Download a printable version of this information by clicking here

Thank You to our Funders!

 

Blue Cross MN Foundation awards $3.25 million in grants to support ...

 

Women's Foundation of Minnesota | A Driving Force for Gender ...

 

Our Partners | Minneapolis Community & Technical College