Shriver Center Calls on Congress for Federal Action to Protect Vulnerable Populations from COVID-19

We urge Congress to take action to enact legislation and push for federal agency action immediately to protect vulnerable populations.

The needs of the most vulnerable among us, including low-income, aging and disabled, Black and Brown, and undocumented communities, must be front and center in any federal relief effort enacted by Congress.

Today, The Shriver Center on Poverty Law sent Illinois Senators Richard J. Durbin and Tammie Duckworth a letter outlining our top policy strategies to protect communities likely to experience the harshest health, housing, court, justice system, and economic impacts from the COVID-19/Coronavirus crisis.

Read our letter and full list of recommendations to Illinois’ congressional delegation.

Our clients live in predominately disinvested communities, long victim to discriminatory policies and practices that limited their opportunities and well-being even in the best of times.  They are simply without the resources to weather this health and economic crisis alone, now and for the long term. 

We urge Congress to take action to enact legislation and push for federal agency action immediately to protect vulnerable populations. Among other things, we urge:

  • Establishment of at least 20 paid emergency leave days for all individuals unable to work;
  • An initial cash payment of $2,000 to all adults and children;
  • Expanded unemployment compensation coverage for workers affected by the crisis;
  • Increased funding for emergency housing assistance, including funds that states can use to prevent evictions;
  • A moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in all forms of federally supported housing;
  • Immediate reductions in jail, prison, and detention center populations, and cessation of new arrests and detentions of anyone who does not pose a risk to public safety to a reasonably identifiable person;
  • Expanded access to affordable healthcare treatment and testing, including rescission of recent rules and regulations, such as Medicaid block grants and work requirements, that undermine our nation’s safety net.

Read our letter and full list of recommendations to Congress.

Read about crisis advocacy the Shriver Center is undertaking on other fronts in the face of COVID-19/Coronavirus.


More Information

Contact with the police or criminal legal system can threaten the economic stability for individuals as well as entire families.

America’s greatest strength is its diversity.

Systemic inequities and the legacy of structural racism make it harder for low-income people and people of color to achieve financial stability.

Healthcare is a human right. The high cost of care means millions of families have no access to the critical care all human beings deserve.

Shelter is not only a basic human need, it is also critical to people’s ability to pursue and attain economic stability.

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