Oakland nonprofit comes through for single mother struggling to make ends meet amid economic downfall

Fatima Almaweri, a West Oakland single mother of two boys has been watching her money going out, with nothing coming in anymore.

For many, it's a  new and growing reality in the era of the Coronavirus.

"I'm trying to keep calm as much as possible. Especially for the kids because i don't want them to panic," she said.

Almaweri had been working as a bartender in a downtown Oakland club until about three weeks ago. Days after her last shift the mandatory shutdowns started.
But some financial help arrived Monday.

It was a $500 check from a non-profit organization called The Oakland Reach.

"It was huge relief. It was big help. I'm squashing through my savings pretty fast," she said.

The Oakland Reach is a parent advocacy organization that helps underserved neighborhoods usually around issues surrounding education.

But when the shutdown happened, the group switched gears and began raising money, about $150,000 so far. 

Six hundred Oakland families have asked for help. The group has sent checks out to 300 of them so far, with more to come.

"We worked through the weekend. We just know we can't wait. We can't take our time," said executive director Lakisha Young.

Young says with so much uncertainty now, and with stimulus checks at least three weeks away, many families need need help now.

"If these funds will help folks pay that utility bill or get groceries that will last a few weeks. That's going to alleviate some of the burden while we wait to see how the stimulus funds come in," Young said.

The Oakland Reach says people needing help is growing by the day.

"Relief needs to come, funds need to come to households in Oakland very fast," said Young.