The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund (QNF) was born during the pandemic as a charity that financially supported unemployed nightlife workers. Now more than eighteen months since she began raising funds, the nonprofit has awarded 511 lump sum grants to queer nightlife workers.
COVID-19 has created a global health emergency and widespread financial crisis, completely disrupting health systems and economies around the world. Here in the United States, unemployment rates were higher at times than those observed during the Great Depression. People who worked in restaurants, bars, clubs and other sectors of the hospitality industry were among the most affected by the pandemic; San Francisco was no exception to this trend.
QNF has completed the distribution of our latest round of grants totaling $ 83,290. This effectively completes the mission that QNF decided to undertake at the start of the pandemic. QNF awarded 511 grants totaling $ 399,641 to queer nightlife workers. https://t.co/Jaun4EUjYs
– SF Queer Nightlife Fund (@qnightlifefund) September 17, 2021
Well, QNF has helped local queer nightlife businesses pay their bills; delays in rent payments; growing debts on utilities and cell phones; and other essential payments. Now, several months later, the nonprofit has raised $ 399,641 for queer nightlife workers, with donations going to fund 511 grants in one lump sum.
In a Press release, QNF said the organization has also donated $ 8,849 to community members through multiple streaming events, offering paid concerts to more than 80 DJs, event hosts, ASL performers and other group hosts; QNF was also able to extrapolate that same success to local live shows later.
All of these opportunities have been greatly appreciated by nightlife workers.
“Everyone [in the gay nightlife community] is struggling to figure out how to make ends meet, ”said Juanita MORE!, a San Francisco drag icon and nightlife figurehead, speaking to Hoodline last year when the initiative was launched, tracing those difficult times financially. “Now is the time to reach out and help each other in any way you can.”
Speak Bay Area Journalist, the grants funded by the QNF were “starting at $ 2,750, with $ 500 for dependents, and the [lowest amount given] being $ 300 for [applicants] with less financial need. “
Members of the QNF Steering Committee – which is made up of local notables Shannon Amitin, Race Bannon, Angel Garfold, Phil Hammack, Juanita More, Mark O’Brien and Joe Weidman – said they were incredibly proud of these fundraising efforts. fundraising and how the group was able to financially support workers through a listing of online events, community outreach programs and fundraising campaigns.
“Our financial contributors are our heroes,” the statement continued. “QNF is very grateful to every person, organization and business who donated or worked to make QNF support for queer nightlife workers possible. Your donations have made the difference between many queer nightlife workers who survive or not. “
To continue to follow the efforts of QNF, which will continue to support the queer nightlife of the Bay Area, visit sfqueernightlifefund.org.
Related: SF Queer Nightlife Fund launched to bring financial relief to the community
Photo: Getty Images / Jason Doiy