About 2023 Emergency Relief Fund


In 2020, Caribbean Equality Project's (CEP) launched a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund For Black & Brown Queer and Trans Caribbean People to respond to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City, and the self-quarantine orders imposed by state authorities. Undocumented workers and LGBTQ people continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Many of our community members who lost their employment are excluded workers but did not qualify for unemployment benefits based on their undocumented, refugee, or asylum status and are still experiencing economic instability. They work in restaurants, grocery stores, nightlife industries, construction, and other labor-intensive jobs impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many have little to no family support and live in the NYC shelter system, in single-room occupancies (SROs), or in rented studio apartments. Our community is resilient, but many members live in fear of eviction while experiencing landlord harassment, food insecurity, healthcare insecurity, and the overwhelming stress of living within colliding pandemics.

2020 was a year that visited disaster upon many vulnerable communities, highlighting deep disparities that have always existed along the lines of race, immigration status, class, and geography. The COVID-19 outbreak was particularly devastating to immigrant communities in New York City. To fulfill our mission to advocate for and serve the local Caribbean LGBTQ+ immigrants, the Caribbean Equality Project initially launched this mutual aid fund in 2020 to get resources into the hands of the consistently marginalized and consistently underserved people of this New York City.

To date, in the face of economic collapse, health disparities, and the failure of institutions to answer to the needs of our community, we provided over $85,000 in emergency mutual aid to 445+ undocumented and documented members of our NYC LGBTQ Caribbean community, many of whom primarily requesting food and housing assistance. 

Because of the overwhelming need, we are raising $40,000 to support our Emergency Relief Fund. 

IT'S CRUCIAL THAT WE MEET THIS GOAL to expand our ability to help our community in crisis. Every dollar counts, so PLEASE, donate and share in your networks. We can do this together, we CAN care for each other and protect our most vulnerable community members.

In 2022, Caribbean Equality Project transformed its COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund into a permanent Emergency Relief Fund for Caribbean LGBTQ+ immigrant New Yorkers. On Thursday, August 4, 2022, MPOX, formerly "monkeypox" was declared a National Public Health Emergency. The Emergency Relief Fund once again became an essential resource for impacted BIPOC LGBTQ+ people. In the face of vaccine inequities, record-breaking infection numbers, and hospitalization, we provided much-needed care and mutual aid to affected community members who had to quarantine without pay and needed food, medication, and transportation support. 

With an influx of asylum seekers and refugees in NYC, we are committed to providing resources, guidance, emotional support, and material aid to Caribbean LGBTQ+ immigrants living within the margins of outdated immigration laws, LGBTQ-phobias, family abandonment, fleeing acts of violence, and being housing insecure. But we cannot do that without our supporters' love, kindness, and generosity to maintain the fund.

Our Emergency Relief Fund For Black & Brown Queer and Trans People will benefit:
  1. Caribbean LGBTQ+ newly arrived asylum seekers in NYC
  2. Caribbean LGBTQ+ undocumented immigrants in NYC
  3. Caribbean LGBTQ+ HIV impacted people in NYC
  4. Caribbean LGBTQ+ immigrant families in NYC
  5. Caribbean LGBTQ+ unemployed sex workers in NYC 
  6.  Caribbean LGBTQ+ hourly essential workers in NYC

What will we fund?

Hot Meals: Community members in immediate need of a hot meal can contact CEP to place a pick-up food order at a local establishment of their choice. 
Healthcare Co-Pays: To support immunocompromised community members to fill prescriptions, including HIV-impacted people
Visa Debit Cards: CEP will issue prepaid Visa cards to help cover grocery, personal care needs, and toiletry costs
Direct Cash Transfers: Emergency cases that involve the threat of eviction or similar critical issues may be given cash directly. Cash transfers can help address quality of life issues that result from loss of income, such as the payment of various essential utilities and bills (electricity, heating, phone, etc.)
Metrocards: Transportation support for low-income LGBTQ+ immigrants working reduced hours 

Food & Immigration Justice: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Caribbean Equality Project has been responding (remotely and in-person) to and doing the following: 

  1. Providing financial relief for food and organizing monthly food pantries 
  2. Providing financial relief to undocumented and asylum-seeking Caribbean LGBTQ+ people due to loss of income (e.g., rent, utilities, mobile bill, etc.)
  3. Providing metrocards support to low-income LGBTQ+ immigrants working reduced hours
  4. Providing culturally-responsive Mental health care and digital support
  5. Doing COVID-19 and MPOX vaccine outreach, education, and making vaccination appointments
  6. Community education and healthcare, including sharing health insurance resources to get uninsured community members covered
  7. Responding to multiple incidents of housing discrimination and harassment, and connecting community members to legal representation
CEP’s advocacy and organizing are all volunteer-led, with a focus on community building and education, facilitation of pro-bono legal representation for Caribbean LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, culturally competent mental health resources, visibility at city-wide pride parades and cultural festivals, and empowering LGBTQ+ Caribbean diasporic community through storytelling and resource sharing. 

The Caribbean Equality Project is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, registered non-profit organization. All contributions and donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. 

Be Social!
Help us to maximize our relief efforts by sharing our Emergency Relief Fund e-fundraiser with your networks! Tag us on Twitter @caribequality and Instagram and Facebook @caribbeanequalityproject.