Domesticas Unidas assists San Antonians with employment and financial relief during coronavirus pandemic

The organization’s programs director says many of the people they help have little to no internet access.

SAN ANTONIO — Karina Martinez is among the thousands of San Antonio residents struggling to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. But there’s one organization which has streamlined the process for Martinez and others to receive financial assistance.

“I lost my job a couple of months ago from the COVID,” Martinez said.

She’s originally from Mexico, has no husband or kids, and hasn’t been able to come up with another source of income since losing her job. That’s where one group stepped up to help. 

Domesticas Unidas, established in 2012, has worked toward empowering domestic workers in San Antonio and the surrounding area. The organization has helped more than a thousand people during the pandemic with securing financial aid and employment.

“We were founded by a domestic worker who saw that we can make change,” said Irasema Cavozos, Domesticas Unidas’s programs director.

Cavozos has witnessed the damaging effects left by the coronavirus, which has emboldened the organization to risk their lives and help those in need.

“We stepped in. We asked the city that the people needed help; they can’t do it on their own,” she said. 

Safety is vital for when clients interact with organization officials. Masks are required, temperatures are taken and sanitizer is offered for those who enter the church where services are provided.

 “The ladies that are helping with the applications have a shield to protect them as well, so we take these matters very seriously,” Cavozos said. 

She stressed there are technological barriers for those needing assistance.

“There’s a great digital divide. The most needy do not have access to the internet,” she said.

As for Martinez, she feels like she can live again.  

“It’s very peaceful for me that they help me. For three months, I don’t need to worry about my rent,” she said.

To learn more about services offered by Domesticas Unidas, click here.


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