Atlanta: Community Foundation and United Way announce grants for pandemic response

Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta announce second round of grants for COVID-19 response

$4.165 million distributed to date; Round three set for early April

ATLANTA – March 27, 2020 – Last week, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta announced the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to direct funding to nonprofits on the front lines helping our region weather this unprecedented health and economic crisis.

Today, our organizations announce the Fund’s second round of grants, totaling $2.665 million, to 14 organizations for emergency response. A total of $4.165 million from the Fund has been granted out to date. Initial grants were made to Atlanta Community Food Bank ($750,000), YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta ($500,000) and Open Hand Atlanta ($250,000).

Today’s grant recipients, and grant amounts, are:

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation ($150,000) Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) provides free, high-quality legal services for more than 5,000 people annually. This grant will provide emergency support for tenants facing eviction through the Housing Court Assistance Center and services for survivors of intimate partner abuse. It will also increase AVLF’s ability to bring on contract, temporary labor across all of its programs to help with the influx of cases expected when normal court operations resume.

Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative ($250,000) Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative addresses the on-going crisis of inequity confronting Atlanta, with a focus on promoting understanding of community wealth building models for Black-owned businesses and elevating the engagement, capacity and leadership necessary to shape a more inclusive economic narrative in Atlanta. The grant will contribute to rapid-response grants and loans supporting Black small business owners for lease assistance, payroll shortages, e-commerce conversion support, conversion of service businesses to on-line interactions and other needs.

Center for Pan Asian Community Services ($175,000) Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) began in 1980 and is the first, largest and longest standing service agency focused on Asian Americans in the southeast, serving over 70,000 people per year in their native language. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CPACS has shifted its approach to a remote model. The grant will support the organization’s work with government agencies and partners to ensure people have access to information, and will support its community health center, food delivery for seniors, housing programs and domestic violence shelter, all of which have experienced an increase in referrals due to the added stress of this crisis.

CHRIS 180 ($200,000) Since 1981, CHRIS 180 has been providing services to children and addressing mental health needs for youth who are experiencing homelessness, in the foster care system or who may also be victims of sex trafficking or other forms of violence including LGBTQ+ discrimination as well as families living in poverty. Grant funds will provide food for youth and young families, behavioral health needs in this time of anxiety, and telehealth services which include providing electronic devices for individuals so they can continue participating in therapy in this time of social distancing.

Giving Kitchen ($250,000) Giving Kitchen provides emergency assistance to food service workers through financial assistance and a connection to community resources. Requests for assistance are currently 20 times higher due to the COVID-19 crisis and its direct impact on this industry. The grant will support increased requests for assistance for food service workers in crisis who are unemployed currently, many of whom are experiencing other personal, family or health crises while mitigating the ramifications of COVID-19.

Good Samaritan Health Center ($250,000) Since 1995, Good Samaritan Health Center has provided high-quality health care for residents of the region, regardless of their ability to pay. Serving as a frontline health facility, Good Samaritan is experiencing the combined burden of having to boost its capacity to care for more patients, while dealing with the added costs of mitigating increased health and safety risks to its staff. Grant funding will alleviate these added costs and provide additional support funding during reduced income streams.

Henry W. Grady Health System Foundation, Inc. ($315,000) Since 1994, the Grady Health Foundation has worked with philanthropists, corporate leaders and civic activists to raise critical dollars and secure in-kind (product) donations to benefit the Grady Health System. In response to the COVID-19 crisis Grady Health System will launch a text and phone campaign to enroll up to 10,700 patients in Grady’s mail order pharmacy program, at no cost to the individual, to reduce potential exposure for those most at risk and limit the spread of the coronavirus in the region. This grant will fill financial gaps to enable Grady to fully support this effort.

HOPE Atlanta ($150,000) HOPE Atlanta provides mental health services, family reunification, emergency hotel placement and permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness in the region. Due to the crisis, organizations providing homeless services are in dire need for additional shelter capacity through hotel and motel rooms. This grant will support efforts to provide safe and isolated locations for those that are high risk or have been exposed to COVID-19 with access to hygiene products, private bathrooms and food.

Inspiritus (formerly Lutheran Services of Georgia) ($150,000) Inspiritus serves families and individuals whose lives have been disrupted, a population that includes children and families, refugees and immigrants, people with developmental disabilities and individuals affected by natural disasters who are particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis. The grant will support rent and utilities assistance and food, household, medical and sanitizing supplies to meet the urgent needs of the individuals and families they serve across Metro Atlanta.

Latino Community Fund ($125,000) Latino Community Fund supports Latino-serving nonprofits and individuals in Georgia with advocacy, program development, technical assistance and collective investments. This grant will support an Emergency Assistance Fund to support families in crisis in five counties through an expanded network of more than 10 partner organizations, and will enable the organization to be a clearinghouse for resources, materials and documents relevant to the Latinx community.

Meals On Wheels Atlanta ($150,000) Meals on Wheels Atlanta provides healthy meal delivery to elderly and health-challenged residents in Fulton County. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is tripling its production to over 35,000 meals per week and preparing to deliver bulk supplies of emergency meals each week to seniors’ homes. This grant will be used to hire temporary staff, rent additional freezers, and purchase more cooking equipment, food and supplies.

MUST Ministries, Inc. ($150,000) MUST Ministries provides healthy food via 39 food pantries embedded in schools throughout the City of Marietta, Cobb County and Cherokee County. MUST Ministries also owns and operates a 72-bed shelter for individuals and families struggling with homelessness. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, MUST has significantly increased its food pantry operations from serving 400 families in a normal week to 3,500 families last week. This grant will support the increase in needed services.

PowerMyLearning ($200,000) PowerMyLearning helps students in low-income communities harness the power of digital learning to improve educational outcomes. The organization has already received local requests to support 4,745 students directly from schools representing $2.4 million. This grant will help the organization to meet requests from districts for devices, WiFi, content and support for students experiencing homelessness.

St. Vincent de Paul Georgia ($150,000) St. Vincent de Paul Georgia serves more than 100,000 families per year throughout the metro Atlanta region providing emergency financial assistance and food through its 36 pantries. The organization is seeing an enormous increase in requests for both financial assistance and food. Its ability to respond is being severely impaired by social distancing measures implemented throughout the region. This grant will help to provide direct financial assistance to people furloughed or unable to work in hourly positions and to purchase bulk food from retailers to stock food pantries.

Grants from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund focus on immediate and critical needs to support those most vulnerable. United Way and Community Foundation staff, with the guidance of a volunteer steering committee comprised of leading individuals from civic, corporate and nonprofit sectors across the region, are identifying additional organizations currently providing or receiving requests for support. This includes working closely with the State of Georgia’s Coronavirus Task Force Committee for Homeless and Displaced Persons, and other state and federal supports that are to be issued in the coming days and weeks.

The Fund was announced March 17 with Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta committing $1 million and United Way of Greater Atlanta contributing $500,000 to seed the Fund. As of today, commitments have been secured from the Coca-Cola Company, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, each donated $5 million to the Fund in support. Other current funders include the City of Atlanta, , Truist Foundation and The Goizueta Foundation contributing $1 million each, Wells Fargo and Global Payments contributing $250,000 each, The Primerica Foundation contributing $50,000, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP and The Vasser Wooley Foundation, Inc. contributing $25,000, and $25,000 jointly from 11Alive and the TEGNA Foundation.

Individuals and families impacted and in need of support can contact United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2-1-1 Contact Center. Due to high call volumes, texting is the quickest way to get in touch with United Way 2-1-1. Text 211od to 898-211 to get a list of resources by zip code. The 2-1-1 database is another quick way to find resources during this time of increased call volume. 2-1-1 is a valuable resource that is available 24-hours and 7 days-a-week.

The need continues to rise as stories accumulate from across our neighborhoods. To donate to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, click here. The next round of grants will be announced early April.

The Community Foundation will continue to update details for donors and nonprofits through its blog and via social media via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. To view updates from United Way of Greater Atlanta, click here or follow on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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