COVID-19 Response

mom and daughter putting on mask

Helping Northern California Recover from COVID-19

Our Response

United Way of Northern California (UWNC) is committed to serving our North State communities, especially in times of crisis. We have established the Coronavirus Relief Fund, aimed at helping North State residents affected by the crisis with both short and long term recovery. Our short term response helped with the immediate needs of our community members, such as meals for seniors sheltering in place, food & sanitation supplies for the homeless, and expanded access to our 2-1-1 NorCal resource & information service.

UWNC has invested nearly $1 million into COVID-19 response in the North State

As COVID-19 continues to impact our communities, we continue to work together with local agencies to identify and address needs as they arise. Check back for updates on how your local United Way is helping the North State recover or view our Press Room for detailed lists of North State organizations that we have partnered with.

Our Latest Effort: Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Did you know that California is leading the nation for assistance and protection for renters? Governor Newsom signed SB 91, establishing the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program, allocating $2.6 billion in federal rent assistance. SB 91 extends eviction protections to June 30, 2021. These efforts will enable low income households most impacted by the pandemic to stay in their homes and prevent displacement which will be crucial to an equitable recovery.

CA COVID-19 Rent Relief provides financial assistance to income-qualified tenants experiencing housing instability. The program provides rent reimbursement to landlords for unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Get more information, verify eligibility and apply starting March 15, 2021 at

For Renters

Am I Eligible?

Eligible renters can apply for landlords to be reimbursed for 80% of each eligible renter’s unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. The landlord must agree to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent for that specific time period. Eligible renters whose landlords choose not to participate in the program may receive 25% of unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

If one or more individuals in your household meet all of the following, you are eligible to apply:

  1. Have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to COVID–19; and
  2. Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include:
    • a past-due utility or rent notice or eviction notice;
    • unsafe or unhealthy living conditions; or
    • any other evidence of such risk, as determined by the program
  3. Have a household income that is not more than 80% of the Area Median Income

Applicants will not be asked about their citizenship, nor will they be required to show proof of citizenship.

Before applying, you will need:

Proof of loss of income, or significant costs incurred, due to COVID-19, which may include the following items.

  • Declaration of COVID-Related Financial Hardship
  • A letter of termination from your job
  • Most recent pay stub with employer’s information
  • Proof that you have applied for unemployment benefits
  • Proof that your unemployment benefits have expired, including unemployment benefits provided through the CARES Act
  • For those self-employed: tax records, income statements, or other evidence showing loss of income
  • Other items will be considered

Apply or get more information here

For Landlords

Am I Eligible?

If you are a landlord who has one or more eligible renters, you can apply to get reimbursed for 80% of each eligible renter’s unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, if you agree to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent for that specific time period.

Requirements include:

  1. All payments must be used to satisfy the renter’s unpaid rent for the period between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021
  2. Your renters must take steps to verify that they meet eligibility requirements and sign the application
  3. Your renter’s household income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI)

Before applying, you will need*:

  • Property Deed(s)
  • Mortgage Note(s)
  • Property Tax Statement
  • Copy of Property Insurance Statement
  • Lease or rental agreement reflecting renter’s name, residence address, and monthly rent due.

Apply or get more information here

United We Mask

Two women wearing masks holding gift cardDuring the week of November 2nd, 2020 residents in Redding, Red Bluff and Chico will have the opportunity to win a $50 gift card as a reward for wearing a mask while in public. Staff and board members will be hitting the streets throughout the week to distribute a total of $1,500 to mask wearers.

“United We Mask is a fun way to get the community to come together and continue to fight against COVID-19,” said Larry Olmstead, President & CEO of United Way of Northern California. “This has been a long battle and it’s not over yet. We want to lift the spirits of our community members while reminding them of the importance of wearing a mask for public health, which is why we decided on surprising random mask-wearers with $50 gift cards.”

To stay up to date on this fun campaign and where we will be, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Essential Heroes

United Shasta woman and police officerIn June 2020, United Way of Northern California launched a campaign to honor essential workers in the North State called "Essential Heroes." Dozens of North State residents from Siskiyou County all the way to Butte County were identified and award with $100 checks to thank them for their service to their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out who we awarded on our Facebook page!

We also invite you to check out this video update from grant recipient, From the Ground Up.


Helping North State Businesses Recover

Woman and two men holding big checkWith years of experience in recovery work, our team knows that long term recovery is expected with any disaster and COVID-19 is no exception. We have been in contact with local authorities in government, non-profits, and everything in between to determine what the North State needs and we discovered that, in order for our communities to thrive, businesses must recover. This led us to partnering with local chambers of commerce to fund business relief grant programs in Butte County, Shasta County, and Tehama County. (Videos below.)

Redbluff - Tehama County Chamber of Commerce received $20,000 for business relief grant program

Paradise Chamber of Commerce received $15,000 to be used for business recovery efforts

Redding Chamber of Commerce received $25,000 for Shasta County Business Relief Grant Program

COVID-19 Outbreak Information

mascot and food bags for deliveryThe 2-1-1 information & referral helpline is ramping up operations to handle a significant increase in public inquiries. Residents in Butte, Glenn, Shasta and Tehama counties can dial 2-1-1 anytime to get information on the crisis. Residents in those counties, along with Lassen, Siskiyou and Trinity, can also receive information by texting CORONAVIRUS to 211-211.

Dial 2-1-1 (Butte, Glenn, Shasta and Tehama counties )

Text CORONAVIRUS to 211-211 (Butte, Glenn, Shasta, Tehama, Lassen, Siskiyou and Trinity counties)


Community Partners