Many people who help make West Marin what it is – a place of beauty that welcomes hundreds of thousands of people each year to experience our landscapes, our locally grown foods, warm hospitality and artistic expression – are hard hit by the uncertainty and economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Particularly affected are residents and workers in the service sector who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut back, who live paycheck to paycheck with no financial safety net. Day-to-day life, expensive at the best of times, has become even more insecure and frightening, particularly for those with no health insurance, no access to unemployment benefits, and limited access to Federal and State emergency funds. Isolated seniors, families of low income with children, and essential workers are particularly at risk. The ongoing costs of food, medicine, rent, electricity, water, cell phones, a car – all weigh heavily. Life is further complicated by the closure of schools and childcare facilities, the threat of wildfires, political tensions, and the growing movement for racial justice.
The local nonprofits that provide much needed services in this unincorporated area are also struggling due to loss of revenue, the need for rapid service adaptation while pivoting to new requirements , and an upsurge in demand.