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Direct Investment: Championing Flexible Cash Relief

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 -
1:00pm to 2:30pm PDT
Zoom Meeting
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Providing direct cash assistance to lower-income populations has been championed internationally for some time and domestically by pioneers Michael Tubbs and Mauricio Lim Miller. Even with recent traction, direct cash assistance is not robustly supported by philanthropy or baked into public policies to date.

Public and private funders have used cash assistance programs after natural hazards and economic downturns like the 2008 recession, 2017 wildfires, and California’s ongoing housing crisis. Most recently, direct cash relief has been provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic including an unprecedented amount of funds allocated for undocumented immigrant populations who have been unable to receive federal assistance. For each of these responses, the systems, distribution process, access, and criteria have changed.

Given the ongoing nature of the pandemic and the resulting economic fall out, it is clear that cash assistance will continue to be needed. Join us for a session to explore a range of approaches to cash assistance programs. We will discuss:

  • Ways to develop more robust, accessible, and equitable systems of assistance across the Bay Area,
  • Build off the findings of ReWork the Bay’s recent study of cash assistance programs, Bay Area Undocumented Cash Relief Network, and discuss the trade-offs in providing relief via a variety of methods, intermediaries, and systems, 
  • And consider future policy implications and ways to connect this work to a range of Universal Basic Income approaches and other longer-term strategies.  


Julia DeNatale, Vice President of Community Impact, Napa Valley Community Foundation

Julia joined Napa Valley Community Foundation in June 2010. She oversees the Community Foundation’s grantmaking in the areas of: Invest in Youth; Fight Poverty; and Champion Community. Julia also leads the Foundation’s community initiatives, which include: Housing, and the Napa Sonoma ADU Center, which aims to create more affordable housing by helping homeowners build and rent Accessory Dwelling Units; One Napa Valley, which incubated integration and legal services for immigrants that want to naturalize; and Disaster Relief.  The Foundation’s Disaster work currently includes relief, response and recovery efforts related to the 2017 Napa Fire Complex and the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the 2014 South Napa Earthquake, the Foundation has distributed more than $25 million and helped more than 50,000 people in Napa County to recover from disasters. Prior to joining Napa Valley Community Foundation, Julia was Director of Development and Community Education at Wolfe Center, a nonprofit behavioral health organization in Napa. Julia is a native of Napa, has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of San Francisco.

Jesús Gerena, Chief Executive Officer, Family Independence Initiative

Jesús joined FII in 2010 as Executive Director of Boston, where he grew FII to include 800 families across the city. He assumed the position of CEO in 2017. Prior to joining FII, Jesús worked for the Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF), where he served as Deputy Director and worked on the Youth First project that helped lay the groundwork for a proposed $250 million urban development project. Jesús has held numerous Board leadership positions across New England and currently sits on the Board of English for New Bostonians. He is also a co-founder of the Community Fellows Program at the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership affiliated with Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. In 2016, the Boston-based Barr Foundation awarded Jesús a Barr Fellowship for his contributions to the city and his potential to drive positive change.

Jennifer Loving, Executive Director, Destination Home

Jennifer Loving has spent her career spearheading efforts to better serve the needs of homeless individuals and families in Silicon Valley. Jennifer has developed and collaborated on numerous innovative models including the County’s first Housing First program for homeless families and the Housing 1000 Campaign, which brought more than 1,000 chronically homeless men and women home. She has also overseen the development and implementation of the 2015 Community Plan to End Homelessness and the production of Home Not Found, the most comprehensive cost of homelessness study completed in the United States. Jennifer is a senior fellow with American Leadership Forum and is on the board of SV@Home. In 2016, Jennifer was appointed to the Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara and appointed by the California State Senate to serve as a member of the State of California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program.

Andrea Manzo, Regional Equity Director, Building Healthy Communities East Salinas

Andrea facilitates the East Salinas Building Health Communities initiative, a 10-year initiative funded by The California Endowment, fostering collaboration with community leaders, organizations, and government.  She also supports Toward a Racially Equitable Monterey County, an ecosystem approach that centers resident voice and power while building capacity across multiple sectors to understand and advance racial equity through an inside-outside strategy. She convenes residents and community organizations via the Community Alliance for Racial Equity, which focuses on implementing racial equity policies and practices within local government to increase the level of resident voice and power in decision-making processes. She is an advocate for authentic community engagement and is passionate about supporting youth to be agents of change in their community to reframe the narrative of young people. Ms. Manzo received her undergraduate degree in Chicano/a Studies and French Studies at UC Santa Barbara. In 2015, she was honored as one of the Women of the Year by the Monterey County Commission on the Status of Women commending her work with youth on the only nationally youth-led open streets event, Ciclovía Salinas.

Karina Moreno, Social Sector Consultant (moderator) 

Karina is a social sector consultant with experience in philanthropy and nonprofits and author of the June 2020 study, Bay Area Undocumented Cash Relief Network. Most recently, she was Chief of Staff at Tipping Point Community where she served as strategic advisor to the Founder CEO and spearheaded special projects including a $100 million chronic homelessness initiative and a $34 million emergency relief fund. Prior to Tipping Point, she was a Program Officer at the Y&H Soda Foundation where she developed a local grants portfolio to help low-income families achieve economic prosperity through income growth and asset building. Karina worked on policy and advocacy issues as Deputy Director at the Children’s Defense Fund in California, and she started her career at Big Sisters of Los Angeles, managing community outreach efforts to recruit women of color mentors for young girls. She is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Target Audience

This program is open to NCG members and non-member funders. 

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