The Marsha P. Johnson Institute’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund began in 2020 as the COVID-19 Relief Program. We provided one-time direct relief of $500 to BLACK transgender or non-binary identified people. In 2020 we distributed more than $250,000 to 491 people. Our commitment is to always center the needs of those beyond the margins. Priority was given to BLACK trans women and those who have experience as sex workers, have been formerly incarcerated, and other vulnerable community members.

In 2021, we realized the pandemic wasn’t going to let up anytime soon. We saw and heard the need to continue our program and shifted into recovery mode. Through the COVID-19 Recovery Fund, we once again provided one-time direct relief of $500 or more to individuals in our community. We distributed $454,000 to 908 people across 42 states. We structured the program so that applicants didn’t have to demonstrate need or even tell us how funds would be used. Grantees received funds simply for BEING. They could use the money for whatever they needed.

Our Covid Recovery Program closed in December 2021. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is currently working on even more ways to get resources directly into the hands of our brothers, sisters, and siblings in 2022 and beyond. Check out the Impact we made in 2021 here

Follow us on social media (@mpjinstitute) and sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date on all of MPJI’s community work.

“The direct cash relief from MPJI has been an absolute blessing. I was suddenly laid off from a job that I’d been with for the past three years. The lack of income impacted my ability to take care of my daughter and myself. I’d been picking up odd jobs here and there to fill in the gap until I found a job. The cash relief allowed me to care for her better (food & etc.) and think about future needs for both her and myself. I’m so grateful for the help. Thank you so much.”

Erica Irving (she/her/hers)

“The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is amazing. They provided access and resources when my family and I needed it most, and that is just such kind and good social justice work that I think would make Marsha herself proud of the legacy of social activism that she left behind.”


The Marsha P. Johnson Institute helped me when my back was against the wall. Along with COVID, there was a hurricane that occurred. Being chosen as a recipient, funds were used to purchase food, medication, and to pay a few bills! I am very thankful for the MPJI! Thank you. Thank you. God Bless!”

L.A.W. (she/her/hers) New Orleans, LA

“During the pandemic, I found myself out of a job and unable to provide for myself. Having to choose between paying for school, hormones, or food was extremely hectic during an already extremely stressful time. With MPJI’s help, I was able to receive much-needed help that relieved me of my financial burden. I can’t thank this organization enough.”


“It can be hard looking for resources when there is a chance of identity being brought up, but The Marsha P. Johnson Institute was a light in a time of need with open arms. Their COVID-19 Relief Fund allowed me to feel more comfortable in a time of uncertainty. I was able to pay bills, relax, and refocus my energy to goals and plans.”

Shawn S. (they/them/theirs)

“If it wasn’t for MPJI, I wouldn’t have been able to pay rent. By helping me with that, I was able to spend more time looking for work and concentrate on my studies, too. And now I’m a bit more financially stable. Truly an awesome blessing.”


“I am so appreciative of the folx at the Marsha P. Johnson Institute for making such huge efforts to take care of us all over the country. The help has saved my livelihood when NO other resources would come through for me. I am forever grateful and honored to have received this grant. I don’t know how things would’ve turned out without it.”

M.J. (They/Them/Theirs)

“Your program helped me by providing a way for me to access a doctor that will help me grow a human, paid my phone bill & helped me get to work my first week. My first job in over a decade since becoming disabled. I’m eternally grateful to be seen & helped in this way.”

Neshaoinspo (other/they/them)

© Copyright 2019 Marsha P. Johnson Institute. All rights reserved. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is a fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund, a California nonprofit corporation and registered 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID (EIN) 46-1323531.


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