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San Diego nonprofit offering rent stipends to those in need

Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 20:34:52-04

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - If your family is in need, a San Diego nonprofit is ready to help out.

Last month, Erica Ruiz was laid off from her restaurant job, which left the full-time student and single mom of an 8-year-old boy with learning disabilities in a bind.

"Economically, just not knowing when I'm going back to work, how much money I have left to pay my bills," said Ruiz.

She says her unemployment benefits translate into half her typical paycheck, leaving her short on her rent for her studio apartment in Chula Vista.

"I would say extremely short," said Ruiz.

Amid the uncertainty, she saw an Instagram post from a nonprofit she follows. The Conscious Kid aims to reduce bias and promote positive identity development among youth. The group started a Gofundme campaign for people in need, and in need of rent relief.

"Whether it's making rent, whether it's putting food on the table for just one day. Some folks are negative in their bank account. It's just been overwhelming how many people are impacted by COVID-19," said co-founder Ramon Stephens.

In just two days, the group raised a staggering $35,000.

So far, they've given away several dozen, $200 stipends. The application process isn't complicated. You're asked to write a brief post on the group's Instagram account which demonstrates your need. Ruiz among the first to receive a stipend.

"Extremely grateful. I can't tell you the relief and anxiety this has cured," said Ruiz.

"We still have money to give ... As along as people keep donating, we'll keep giving it to families," said Stephens.

To receive the funds, you'll need a Venmo, Paypal, or Cash app account.