San Francisco’s Shelter in Place program shifting CAA’s Economic Justice work from in-person direct service to by phone assistance with new challenges.

Pictured: CAA’s Hospitality Vocational Training Program Graduation Ceremony.

In a downturn economy, CAA’s Limited English Proficient immigrant workforce clients are facing new and steep challenges. The economic reaction to COVID-19 has drastically reduced demand for service jobs especially the hotel positions CAA has traditionally helped clients apply for. 

In addition, San Francisco’s shelter in place policy to maintain social distancing and public health has complicated our face to face direct service work with clients. For example, now the majority of clients are asking for help applying for unemployment insurance. Since the form is online and available only in English, overwhelmingly our clients need language assistance to accurately fill out the form. Digital literacy barriers also exist as computer access can be limited for clients. Before shelter in place, our weekly in-person computer lab served as a space for clients to become comfortable with computers and get language accessible help. 

Despite these challenges, CAA’s Economic Justice staff have adapted to these changes and are continuing to remain open to assist returning and new clients with their workforce questions.

For clients who are looking for employment, we have pivoted to helping clients apply for the jobs most in-demand right now such as groceries and custodial positions in housing complexes and hospitals. Given the unpredictable nature of the job market, CAA is remaining flexible and in communication with experts to ensure that our clients have the most accurate and up to date information.