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'Suffering in silence' | Casa de Maryland helps undocumented families get food, medicine, testing

Grocery deliveries have been made to more than 2,000 immigrant families thanks to Casa de Maryland, who also helps with contact tracing after a virus diagnosis.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Contactless grocery drop-offs are occurring several days a week for more than 2,000 undocumented families in the Washington area, thanks to immigration assistance organization, Casa de Maryland.

"More than 2,000 families, and at the same time, our waitlist is about double that," Program Manager George Escobar said.

Escobar added that these undocumented immigrants don't qualify for any federal government assistance, so those who have been laid off or had their hours cut are struggling to secure the basics, primarily for their children.

"A lot of our folks are just taking it day by day, to be honest," Escobar said. "They can't look further than how they're going to put food on the table tomorrow." 

Along with securing food, Casa de Maryland is also helping these families financially, with what they call a Solidarity Fund.

They've raised more than $800,000 in the last month -- a record for the organization.

RELATED: ESL teacher raises $21,000 for immigrant students hit hard by coronavirus

Your contribution to the Solidarity fund is an investment in the community we all share. The fight for justice is hard enough in normal circumstances - now as this pandemic ravages our communities and our economy, our immigrant, Latino, and working class members face even greater challenges.Stand with our members in the face of the COVID pandemic.

Recipients get a pre-paid debit card to take care of immediate needs, like food, gas and medicine.

Still, Escobar said, he's sad it's come to this, especially for those who work and pay taxes.

"These are the people that are being most impacted by this crisis, yet are being specifically discriminated against and ignored," he said. "It's really infuriating, frustrating and scary." 

Also scary for this group is making sure those who contract COVID-19 aren't suffering in silence and spreading the virus.

Escobar said they've encountered many families without health insurance, who assume they don't qualify for free testing or treatment. 

RELATED: Appointment-free coronavirus testing begins in Maryland on Thursday

"Just getting to the point where they get a test in the first place is a problem," Escoabr said. 

Casa de Maryland is also working with local health departments to identify people who need to be tested, and helping with contact tracing in this community.

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