In April 2022, THE CITY’s MISSING THEM project — along with Columbia Journalism Investigations, Type Investigations and City Limits — published a story that revealed that more than 8,600 New York City children have lost a parent or caregiver to COVID — a population that would entirely fill 15 average-size city schools.

In response, state Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz and state Senator Jamaal T. Bailey announced a new Senate bill (S6592) to establish the New York COVID-19 children’s fund. As part of the publicly funded initiative — known as “baby bonds’’ — the state will invest $1,000 per year for eligible minors. Once a child turns 18, they can use the funds to pay for an education, buy a home or start a business. The bill covers children who lost a “parent, custodian, legal guardian or related adult household member” regardless of immigration status.