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Emergency Fund

Throughout the year, the James M. Kaye Emergency Fund is available for emergency requests from our agency partners to help with all kinds of one-time critical needs. We all face surprise costs as we are undergoing life changes.  But many struggling families and individuals face these same problems without the benefit of a safety net. We help them with a modest sum to get them through these roadblocks so they can continue with forward progress. 

Our social service agency partners see families caught between a rock and a hard place all to often. The James M. Kaye Emergency Fund exists to help them find solutions.

In the past, we funded: 

  • a parent so she could get a birth certificate to enroll her child in school,
  • a handicapped man to cover his moving costs so he could take a spot in permanent housing that just opened up,
  • a homeless senior to pay for all the documentation needed to receive SSI, 
  • a piece of equipment to deliver medicine to a sick child whose medication is covered by MediCal but not the equipment to deliver it.

Application Process

We aim to make this as simple as possible. 

Agency staff can contact us by phone or email, describe the need, and make a request for funds to meet it. If the request fits our guidelines and we approve it, we can provide up to $200, often within 24 to 48 hours.

The fine print:  All requests must come from a staff member of one of our partner agencies.  Requests must be for a specific, one-time urgent need that cannot be met with other resources in the community.  The client must be a resident of Berkeley or living in a Berkeley homeless shelter.