Coronavirus downturn: Street vendors in Los Angeles struggling amid pandemic

Los Angeles County officials emphasized that resources are available for street vendors and others impacted by the coronavirus restrictions.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Like many in Los Angeles, street vendors have seen their livelihoods devastated by the coronavirus downturn.

A woman who identified herself only as Carmen told ABC7 on Thursday that it's been very difficult and she has no money to pay her rent.

She's a street vendor and was out early outside a Home Depot in the Westlake district. She said business has dropped more than 50 percent.

She told ABC7 there is no help for her because she is undocumented. Carmen and other street vendors worry that receiving any help could affect their immigration status.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis says she can get services.

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"WIC, which is women infants and children is not considered part of public charge that affects immigration and applicants are not asked about their citizenship status," said Solis.

County officials on Thursday announced they are reaching out to street vendors to show them the help that is available.

Antonia Jimenez of the Department of Public Social Services said, "Families with parents that are undocumented but the children are U.S. citizens the children would be eligible for all of these programs."

"It's going really, really slow. People are not showing up," said a young man who only wanted to give his first name.

Joshua was helping his mother, who is a street vendor. His father got laid off from his job at a hotel. He said they pay taxes but had not received any help from the government.

Even though it's difficult he said they still try to help others.

"We actually give them free food also because we also understand their background and we understand they are hustling to provide for the family back in their country," said Joshua.
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