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Metro IAF at Work During Covid-19 

Metro IAF New York's Response to Covid-19 

Rev. O'Connor, Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church Jamaica & Metro IAF Co-Chair

America is facing a terrible storm, but we aren’t all in the same boat. Communities where we live and work – East New York, the South Bronx, Jamaica, Harlem – are the hardest hit by COVID-19. Disasters often take their greatest toll on the most vulnerable. Metro Industrial Areas Foundation (Metro IAF) has been organizing in predominantly black and hispanic communities in New York for over 40 years. We are now focused on helping our members, our institutions and our City survive. We believe New York can emerge from this crisis as a more just place. 

Test Sites At Religious Institutions

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's May 9th Press Conference highlighted the work Metro IAF along with other non-profit and religious organizations are doing in conjunction with the Governor's office

Getting tested for a life threatening disease is frightening, but it is also the critical first step to ending this pandemic. This is why it is important that New Yorkers can access tests at institutions they trust. Within weeks of the city shutting down, Metro IAF organized a coalition of 400 institutions willing to offer their properties to be used as testing sites. In mid-April Metro IAF partnered with First Presbyterian Church Jamaica and Community Healthcare Network to open the first walk-in testing site in Jamaica, Queens. To date we have administered over 1,000 tests. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that he will open testing sites at 24 religious institutions across New York. Thousands of New Yorkers, in predominantly black and hispanic communities, will now be able to get tested in an environment where they feel safe.

Fighting for a Fair Stimulus and Recovery

Rev. David Brawley, Senior Pastor at St Paul Community Baptist Church on MSNBC
Metro IAF is working to ensure people and institutions that need help the most are not excluded from the federal stimulus. Immediately after the CARES act was passed over 125 institutions met with Senator Schumer. We demanded that the Payroll Protection Program include frontline religious institutions and nonprofits. The SBA ruled in our favor – a remarkable victory for charitable organizations across the country. Many of our institutions still did not receive funding in the first round. Metro IAF directly pressured several lending institutions to process our loans fairly. The result was over 30 institutions being approved for $5 million in funding. These initial victories represent the beginning of our efforts. 
Metro IAF, is part of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the nation’s first and largest network of multi-faith community organizations. Our 23 member organizations have deep-roots in the political and financial power centers in the eastern United States and Europe.
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