July 14, 2023 – With production shut down due to the current work stoppage, we have seen a dramatic increase in inbound calls to MPTF from industry members seeking some form of assistance. Speaking to Deadline, Jennifer Jorge, our Director of Community Social Services, explained, “Most of those who have contacted MPTF for assistance are our below-the line workforce, including IATSE and Teamsters.” Our broad range of social services have already been provided to thousands of industry members and their families this year; in addition, we have received over 1,500 requests from industry members in need of financial support and other social services due to the work stoppage. This is more than 3X the rate of inquiries we receive in a typical year for this time frame. The largest group of callers are below-the-line workers, and a very high percentage (89%) with at-risk or in-crisis personal situations. The bottom line is people are struggling greatly, and they need our support. And in turn, MPTF needs support to help as many people as possible. We are administering financial assistance funds for IATSE Emergency Relief Fund, Teamsters Motion Picture Division Support Fund, the Director’s Guild Foundation Emergency Relief Fund, and TUSC (The Union Solidarity Coalition), and with that we are able not only to provide financial support but also case management on other issues. We find that many members are experiencing significant financial distress including pending eviction or foreclosure, loss of health insurance coverage, and many other life-altering issues.
If you are in need of assistance due to the work stoppage, please call us at 323 634 3888. “Help begins the instant an industry professional contacts us,” Jorge explains. “Our Social Services Department specializes in providing practical help and support around life issues by utilizing a person-centered, consciously inclusive approach to service delivery. Although the majority of community industry members are coming to the MPTF expressing a need for financial assistance due to the strike, our 100+-year history of providing charitable assistance has taught us that if you are concerned or experiencing distress about your financial wellness, you are likely experiencing stress in other areas of your life such as your relationships, your physical and mental health… The hard reality is that life doesn’t stop just because there is a work stoppage.”