COVID-19 essentially shut down all work in our jurisdiction. While I was away on a Broadway Tour, I watched from afar as the city of Austin cancelled SXSW, our Local’s largest month of work.
As a Hiring Hall registrant, Arebalo says he watched event after event cancel every day.
“My show, Miss Saigon, was one of the last standing, it ended March 15th,” says Arebalo.
As a member of Local 205, Arebalo says his Local’s social media administrators jumped into action and began sharing news and resources, to both their Facebook page and Mutual Aid Group page, which currently stands 103 members strong and is still growing.
Due to all members not being on social media, Arebalo says the Local created a phone tree, which assigns each member 15 people to call and check in. This system was created to help members who needed assistance with filing for unemployment and additional financial resources.
Arebalo says the Phone Tree also helps members who might need help with food deliveries.
“COVID-19 has shown me our resourcefulness has been the key for helping each other in this time of need,” says Arebalo. “It has exposed everyone’s vulnerability and I’m amazed at the amount of people that are sharing their resources and advice. It’s astounding.”