Local Nonprofits Win COVID-19 Aid to Help with Food, Rent, Medical Car
Posted on the Warwick Beacon
Local nonprofits on the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 crisis are among the organizations that will share $2.1 million from the COVID-19 Response Fund created by the Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island.
House of Hope Community Development Corporation in Warwick is one of the local organizations that received funding in the latest round of grants from the fund, which now has awarded $5.7 million since last month. The housing and social services agency received $75,000 for operational support like technology that enables staff to work remotely as well as direct client support, including grocery gift cards, tents, sleeping bags, bottled water, ready-to-eat food and personal hygiene items.
"Every single day we work with people who are experiencing chronic homelessness; who are constantly fighting for their lives. The impact that COVID-19 has had on them has heightened all of their needs tenfold," said Laura Jaworski, executive director.
"For example, as places began to close at the start of the pandemic, clients couldn't gain easy access to electricity, leaving them with no option to charge their devices; devices they relied on for news and information regarding the crisis. In order to keep these folks well informed, connected and safe we came up with a creative solution and purchased solar powered chargers," she said.
In addition to House of Hope, the Parent Support Network, the Tamarisk Assisted Living Center, Thrive Behavioral Health, the Trudeau Center, Southpointe Christian Church and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) in Warwick, the Success Training Center in Cranston and the Autism Project in Johnston are among the organizations receiving grants in this round of funding.
"The need is beyond even what we expected. While generous donors have already contributed $7 million, we're seeing demand for funding grow even faster. Our backlog of applications significantly exceeds the resources that are left and we expect requests will grow by several million dollars, which is why we must keep raising money for the fund in all amounts," said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.
"As we continue to learn more about the heroic work happening every day to serve neighbors in our community, we are hearing from more and more nonprofit leaders who are facing impossible choices, such as reducing frontline staff and cutting essential services," said United Way of Rhode Island President and CEO Cortney Nicolato. "Rhode Islanders depend on the nonprofit community every day, but today financial support is more critical than ever: our support has the power to provide services to the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders who've historically been disproportionately impacted by health disparities."
The grants ranged from $10,000 to $75,000. Many will help local nonprofits provide food, housing and health care to Rhode Islanders affected by the crisis. Additionally, funding was awarded for medical supplies for care providers facing unprecedented challenges to maintain operations and deliver services to those most in need.