A year of the COVID-19 pandemic has left millions jobless, hundreds of thousands dead, and many turning to neighbors and mutual aid groups, instead of the government, to make ends meet.  

     When Chicago Public Schools suspended its meal distribution program in late May, Trina Reynolds-Tyler and Dominique James formed what would eventually become the People’s Grab-N-Go, a weekly program that by the beginning of September had given food and supplies to 3,700 families in need.  

     Robust mutual aid programs, like the one run by the Black and trans-led Brave Space Alliance, kept people connected to health care, stable housing, and harm reduction services. BSA’s makeup room and den also help connect trans and gender-nonconforming people to important gender-affirming products like packing underwear, binders, and cosmetics.