Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) announced today that it has awarded a second round of rapid response grants from its Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund (the Fund), established in March to support nonprofits on the frontlines of the pandemic response in Essex County.
This second round of grants – which totals $130,000 – focuses on organizations serving the homeless population.
“As the Coronavirus continues to have an impact on Essex County, our most vulnerable populations are experiencing the heaviest of burdens,” said ECCF’s Vice President of Grants Nonprofits and Donor Services Carol Lavoie Schuster. “This second round of nonprofit grantees is working tirelessly to make sure Essex County’s homeless population has the resources they need to stay safe during this crisis.”
Like the first round of grants awarded from the fund on March 27, this second round includes grants to individual organizations. But ECCF is also awarding three partnership grants to support collaborative efforts to combat the effects of the Coronavirus in Essex County.
“Collective action, especially during a time of crisis, is so crucial for effective problem-solving,” said Lavoie Schuster. “ECCF is committed to supporting collaborations that are taking a holistic approach to the challenges our communities are currently facing.
- Nonprofit Lifebridge in Salem, which operates emergency shelters River House in Beverly, in conjunction with the cities of Salem, Beverly and Lynn; Lynn Community Health Center; North Shore Community Health; Lynn Shelter Association; MEMA and the Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council are collaborating on the operation of an emergency shelter located at Salem High School for the North Shore’s homeless population to safely quarantine and isolate.
- Action Inc., in conjunction with the City of Gloucester; the Cape Ann YMCA and Grace Center, a Lifebridge day resource center in Gloucester, are working together to on an emergency homeless shelter and quarantine and isolation center.
- The City of Lawrence, in conjunction with Lazarus House Ministries, has established an emergency shelter at a local hotel.
The following organizations are receiving individual grants for critical programing that is supporting the homeless population during this time: Wellspring, Emmaus, Lynn Shelter Association, Daybreak, Lifebridge, Citizens Inn, HAWC, and Family Promise.
These grants have been awarded based on ECCF’s ongoing research and a month-long collection of data from hundreds of Essex County nonprofits.
Organizations serving the homeless and other vulnerable populations report the struggle to accommodate social distancing requirements; lack of staffing to address increased mental health issues; a rise in domestic abuse and decreased funding coupled with increased demand among the most difficult challenges they are facing right now.
“The need is real and continues to evolve,” said Lavoie Schuster. “While we work to address the current needs of our region’s nonprofits and communities, ECCF is also committed to staying in close contact so we can assess their changing needs and adapt our strategy for future phases of funding as necessary.”
To date, $1.7 million has been raised for the Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund. That fundraising – so critical to our collaborative response to COVID-19 in our region – continues. Please donate today at www.eccf.org/COVID-19ResponseFund.