Pandemic relief response sets Hayward apart
Beyond the new COVID-19 Testing Site, the City Council and City Manager Kelly McAdoo undertook and oversaw multiple initiatives over the first several weeks of the pandemic to protect and sustain Hayward residents and businesses while continuing to deliver essential municipal services.
On March 20, the City set up a telephone hotline and call center staffed by a multi-lingual team of City employee volunteers and workers assigned from other duties to provide reliable, up-to-date information on COVID-19 and related City responses and operational changes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
It was followed by a series of Council votes starting on March 24 to prohibit the eviction of Hayward residents and businesses facing COVID-19 hardship; a local $5000 grant program for Hayward small-business and independently owned restaurants on March 26; the formation of a new Hayward Community Relief Fund announced on April 2; and the distribution of thousands of masks to local essential businesses and independent day laborers starting on April 20.
Through the Community Relief Fund and reprogramming of other City funding, $500 Hayward Family Support grants were provided to economically vulnerable residents who could not qualify for state unemployment insurance and federal COVID-19 relief programs while rent-relief assistance grants of up to $2,500 were made available to bridge the gap between what tenants facing economic hardship and risk of displacement could afford and the amount of their actual rent.
On April 30, in partnership with Alameda County Community Food Bank, Chabot College and other local nonprofits and businesses, the City began a new weekly No-Contact Food Distribution Program that through 2020 had supported more than 25,000 families and packaged up and given out more than 1 million pounds of fresh produce, dried goods and dairy and meat products. To learn more about No-Contact Food Distribution and other COVID-19 relief efforts, go online here on the City of Hayward website.