Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund distributes $8.7 million

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

More than $8.7 million distributed to date; Round four set for mid-April

ATLANTA – April 6, 2020 – In March, 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 third round of grants, totaling nearly $4.6 million, to 27 organizations for emergency response. A grand total of more than $8.7 million from the Fund has been mobilized for nonprofits to date. Grants made in the earlier rounds are detailed on both the Community Foundation’s website and United Way’s website.

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

Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs ($250,000) Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE) provides economic development to underserved people and communities including women and minority business owners. COVID-19 poses an economic calamity for entrepreneurs in these populations who generally have lower margins and cash reserves. This grant will cover operating costs of ACE’s Emergency Loan Product, providing working capital micro loans of up to $50,000 for current ACE clients along with up to six months of principal and interest payment deferment and technical assistance for clients to apply and secure funding.

Atlanta Partners For Education (APS Foundation) ($280,000) Atlanta Partners For Education (APFE) has been the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Foundation for nearly 40 years, serving as the gateway through which the corporate and philanthropic communities support student achievement and develop strategic solutions to challenges that impact APS students and families. The grant will support COVID-19 specific programs in nutrition and technology, providing free meals for students and families and securing laptops and internet access for distance learning.

Fulton Education Foundation ($300,000) The Fulton Education Foundation takes a needs-based approach for students of Fulton County, especially those experiencing homelessness, in foster care or living in motels, who face challenges including food insecurity and access to health supports. The grant will contribute to the costs of housing, food, and therapy for 1,765 Fulton County students presenting the greatest needs – experiencing homelessness, living in foster care or living in motels and connectivity and devices for virtual learning for Fulton County students.

Gateway and Evolution Center ($150,000) Gateway Center (GWC) serves a critical role in providing services to the people experiencing homelessness as the entry point to City of Atlanta’s Continuum of Care, including shelter, access to showers and laundry facilities, information on the COVID-19 virus and its symptoms, safety precautions and knowledge of access testing. Due to stay-at-home orders and the closing of some community kitchens, GWC is now serving additional meals and seeing an expanded population of individuals needing services. This grant will allow the agency to continue to provide services to the homeless population residing in their shelter and additional personnel costs. Serving the homeless population is critical in our region’s effort to flatten the curve.

Goodr ($250,000) Goodr provides food for those in need and recognizes that school meals are the only source of nourishment for many underprivileged children. Even with school-based food pickup options for students, many parents are now out of work, do not have reliable access to transportation and have an increased need for food in their homes. With an uptick in requests, Goodr is working to support more families and senior homes to help them through this pandemic and has hired additional drivers to deliver groceries and ready-to-eat meals. The grant will cover 30 days of service to more than 100 families in the community.

Hearts to Nourish Hope ($150,000) Hearts to Nourish Hope was established in 1995 to meet the needs of high-risk populations in Clayton and Gwinnett counties in areas of education, workforce development, housing and essential needs. Grant funding will go toward housing support for families with children, senior citizens and those most vulnerable during this time. Specifically, funds will help provide housing and utilities with a focus in the Southern Crescent, an underserved part of the region.

Hosea Helps ($200,000) Hosea Helps (formerly Hosea Feed the Hungry) works with families in the City of Atlanta to prevent homelessness, address hunger in children and to ensure that individuals in poverty or at risk of poverty have financial resources and tools to become stable. Because of COVID-19, Hosea Helps has increased distribution of food and supplies while also assisting partner organizations. The grant will help cover the costs of purchasing food for box distribution to 19,000 individuals, rent/mortgage assistance for 65 individuals/families, and increased staffing and equipment costs to be able to serve additional individuals and families in need.

Housing Plus, Inc. ($125,000) Housing Plus, Inc. (HPI) is a comprehensive solution to homeless issues in the greater Atlanta area. Due to COVID-19, HPI has moved to digital platforms to address safety concerns while focusing on rapidly rehousing and providing basic needs support to individuals experiencing or fleeing from domestic violence and trafficking situations. All referrals come from a network of pro-bono law firms. Funding will support efforts to serve these vulnerable individuals and help to reduce the number of families who will be facing eviction and homelessness in the coming weeks.

International Rescue Committee in Atlanta ($150,000) International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides comprehensive case management support for refugee and immigrant populations throughout the greater Atlanta region. Staff has now transitioned to virtual service for clients. Due to travel restrictions, admission of refugees to the U.S. has been halted and IRC anticipates a reduction in federal funding. The grant will allow IRC to continue to provide resources including healthcare and employment benefits for immigrants and refugees.

LaAmistad, Inc. ($100,000) LaAmistad assists 300 Latino students and their families annually. Many students qualify for free/reduced lunch programs, and their parents largely work low-income jobs that are now being severely reduced. During the COVID-19 crisis, LaAmistad’s staff has had weekly calls with families served to determine specific needs for each, which include rent support, medical care and online tutoring. This grant will allow LaAmistad to provide approximately two weeks of emergency food supplies to the families it serves.

Mercy Care ($150,000) Established in 1985, Mercy Care provides compassionate, clinically excellent healthcare to those in need, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. Mercy Care is working with multiple partners and agencies to ensure the homeless community, especially the street-bound population, have access to the necessary health services to test and treat individuals with COVID-19. The grant will help cover the additional costs of Mercy Care’s expanded services and efforts to address COVID-19, including expanded telehealth services.

Meridian Educational Resource Group d/b/a Whitefoord, Inc. ($243,000) For 24 years Whitefoord has focused on ensuring children are healthy, safe and prepared for school through early childhood education and health services. Whitefoord’s two clinics have remained open to meet the basic health needs of the community, including offering COVID-19 testing as well as dental, mental health and physical health services. During the crisis Whitefoord has implemented phone-based screenings, telehealth capability and online education resources for families while school is closed. The grant will help fund the continuation of these services for Whitefoord’s population, more than 28% of whom are low income with increased need for social safety net programs.

Metropolitan Counseling Services ($90,000) Metropolitan Counseling Services provides affordable mental health services for the residents of Georgia. Prior to the crisis, more than 90% of the mental health services provided occurred through in-person individual and group interactions. Given the social distancing measures established, counseling has shifted to technology-based forms, which is difficult for both the clients and the therapists. This grant will support the increased cost for services, including supervisory consultation, staff training, client assistance and software enhancements.

Midwest Food Bank – Georgia ($50,000) Midwest Food Bank (MFB) works to alleviate hunger and malnutrition locally and throughout the world and provide disaster relief without discrimination. MFB currently serves more than 300 nonprofit organizations in the Southeast, 270 of those in the Atlanta area, serving nearly 155,000 individuals and families each month. The grant will help cover an anticipated 35 percent increase in food demand and distribution due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Nicholas House, Inc. ($75,000) Nicholas House, Inc. supports low-income families experiencing or at-risk of being homeless in metro Atlanta. Some individuals have mental health conditions or underlying conditions that increase their risk for COVID-19, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes and high blood pressure. The organization maintains a shelter and also provides rental assistance for clients living in apartments. This grant will help to cover the costs of food, sanitation supplies, emergency assistance to families facing eviction and expanded services to prevent homelessness for more families across the metro Atlanta region.

Norcross Cooperative Ministry, Inc. ($200,000) Norcross Cooperative Ministry is a coalition of churches that provide services to low-income and homeless families in their community. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the cooperative typically served 50 to 70 families per day. Today they have seen a 700 percent increase in families needing support, including past clients whose situations have worsened, new clients who are homeless or live in extended stay hotels and others with vulnerable housing situations. The grant will help to cover rent assistance, temporary lodging, and food for clients for the next 60 days.

North Fulton Community Charities ($200,000) Since 1983, North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC) has addressed homelessness and hunger in North Fulton county, serving nearly 10,000 annually. Due to the current climate, NFCC has had to close their thrift store, their main source of revenue, while seeing a significant increase in need. NFCC is also seeing greater need among self-employed and small business owners. Grant funds will help support restocking food pantries and providing financial assistance to populations including single working mothers, custodial grandparents and immigrant families.

Open Doors Solutions, Inc. ($150,000) Open Doors Solutions works primarily with those transitioning from homelessness, many of whom are single parents with at least two children, into safe, affordable homes. Open Doors works with landlords and property management companies to help lower barriers to housing access. This grant will support current efforts to provide housing through a referral system and provide rental assistance, freeing up desperately needed capacity in the shelter pipeline.

Partnership Against Domestic Violence ($10,000) Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) was founded in 1977 to end the crime of intimate partner violence and empower its survivors. PADV is currently still offering shelter services and a 24-hours crisis line, providing safety planning, remote counseling and legal advocacy. This grant will assist those currently facing domestic violence issues via shelter services or emergency motel stays, to ensure housing security and protect children and vulnerable populations from high levels of abuse likely to happen during increasingly stressful periods.

Salvation Army ($200,000) The Salvation Army’s food pantries remain open with higher demands, and several locations have expanded pantry hours and transitioned to drive-through feeding programs as well as food delivery through mobile kitchens. The Salvation Army is currently serving approximately 1,300 families and 4,000 individuals per week, and expect this to increase. Demand has increased at their two shelters in Atlanta and in the rapid re-housing program in Gwinnett. The grant will support these services and the increase in rent/utility assistance requests from those that are impacted by job loss or reduced hours due to COVID-19.

Ser Familia ($100,000) Ser Familia is dedicated to strengthening Latino families through programs that support healthy family environments, as one of the only sources of counseling provided in Spanish in the state. Many of Ser Familia’s clients work in hospitality and construction, some of the first sectors to be impacted by furloughs and layoffs. Group counseling sessions (including domestic violence support groups) are now limited to 10 people per session, which has led to an increase in the number of sessions and increased staff hours. This grant will increase the organization’s capacity to continue providing no-cost mental health counseling in Spanish, as well as provide food, emergency assistance and transportation for people who have been denied services from other emergency assistance providers who require a state ID or social security number.

Sheltering Arms, Inc. ($250,000) Sheltering Arms serves vulnerable infants, children and their families throughout metropolitan Atlanta. This grant will help the organization respond to the on-going needs of Sheltering Arms’ families for support, including Family Support Coaches to help families navigate resources and systems; purchasing and distributing diapers, wipes, formula and other goods for the hygienic needs of families; continued learning, development and family engagement; and the development of a food pantry to ensure that families are able to access food during the crisis.

Southside Medical Center ($250,000) Southside serves more than 45,000 people annually, providing services on a sliding-scale fee. More than five percent of Southside’s patient population are served in a language other than English and more than 57 percent live on low income up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level. During this time, Southside Medical Center will continue to see patients when clinically necessary at 11 locations throughout metro Atlanta – with walk-in sites operating in Butts, Clayton, Coweta, DeKalb and Fulton counties. Southside is maximizing the use of telemedicine services to lessen patient wait times in clinics, and to use directly with those who can (or should) shelter-in-place at home. Additionally, Southside is collaborating with state efforts around COVID-19 by utilizing its mobile medical unit to provide rapid response testing.

State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia ($200,000) The State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia provides support and funding to state charter schools throughout Georgia, including 18 schools located in the greater Atlanta community, who serve nearly 9,000 students. These schools are providing distance learning to students while they are closed and ensuring equitable access is crucial – the most critical needs are technology devices and internet access for low-income students and remote tutoring for at-risk students. The grant will allow the organization to purchase technology devices and pay for internet access for 1,341 low-income students and provide remote tutoring services for 905 high-risk students for six weeks.

Sweetwater Mission ($155,000) Sweetwater Mission provides food, clothing, education and support services to neighbors in need. It is distributing food in response to the crisis – each car receives 50 pounds of bread, eggs, meat, milk and additional items, and 60 pounds if there are children in the home. Sweetwater is providing food to an average of 85 families in need per day and grant funding will assist while need continues to increase as the effects of the virus are experienced.

Wellspring Living ($195,000) Wellspring Living supports domestic sex trafficking victims, and those at risk, with specialized recovery services through four residential programs, two community-based programs and graduate services. During the COVID-19 crisis Wellspring Living’s community programs are supporting participants virtually and residential programs remain in operation, requiring the need for hiring clinical support staff and providing personal protective equipment, as well as serving additional food due to increased requests and decreased donations. The grant will support Wellspring Living’s rapid response to these increased service needs as requests for their services continue to rise.

Zion Hill Community Development Center ($125,000) Zion Hill Community Development Center seeks to promote revitalization and redevelopment of selected areas in metropolitan Atlanta and to empower citizens through economic, residential, social and educational programs. Zion Hill has adapted services from walk-in, face-to-face appointments to an online delivery system. Zion Hill will use grant funding to provide technology and online delivery service addressing transitional housing, rapid rehousing and utility support. In response to the pandemic, Zion Hill has also expanded its service areas from only South Fulton to include City of Atlanta and Clayton counties.

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,The Goizueta Foundation and The Klump Family Foundation contributing $1 million each, Wells Fargo and Global Payments contributing $250,000 each, the Sara Giles Moore Foundation contributing $100,000, The Primerica Foundation contributing $50,000, the Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation, 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. Support funds will be released on a rolling basis throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis. Details on how nonprofit organizations can share their need will be released this week via the Community Foundation’s website, as well as a grant process specifically for arts organizations. The next round of grants will be announced mid 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.


About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been leading and inspiring philanthropy to increase the vitality of our region and the well-being of all residents. With nearly 70 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation expands its philanthropic reach and impact by providing quality services to donors and bold, innovative community leadership. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation among 750 nationally, with approximately $1.2 billion in current assets, and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. For more information, visit: or connect with the Foundation via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About United Way of Greater Atlanta

United Way of Greater Atlanta, the largest United Way chapter in the nation, focuses on ensuring that every child in Atlanta has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. The organization invests in more than 200 programs in 13 counties through the Child Well-Being Impact Fund and works to help children succeed in school, improve financial stability of families, provide affordable and accessible healthcare and end homelessness. For more information, visit: or Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Media Contacts:

For United Way United Way of Greater Atlanta

Chad Parker, 404.358.5055

For Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Louise Mulherin, 404.405.1070

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