In early March, the United Way of the Greater Capital Region and the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, announced a collaboration with other philanthropy, government, and business partners to mobilize a regional response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund was established to provide one-time operating grants to local 501c3 organizations on the frontlines working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. The fund is managed by the Community Foundation and a 100% pass-through fund where all the money raised will be distributed to local nonprofit organizations.
The Fund has raised more than $450,000 which will be deployed on a rolling basis to address both the acute community needs from the outbreak and the longer-term impacts of recovery. Over 22 private and philanthropic organizations have contributed to the fund including Arrow Family of Companies, Ayco a Goldman Sachs Company, Bank of America, BlueShield of Northeastern New York’s Blue Fund, B’Nai B’rith Gideon Foundation, CDPHP, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, GE Healthcare, Hunt Real Estate Charitable Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KeyBank, MVP Health Care, National Grid, NYSUT, Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation, Regeneron, the Schenectady Foundation, Tri-City Rentals/Massry Realty Partners, the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, and the United Way of the Greater Capital Region. In addition to these organizations, over $17,000 in individual donations have been raised by the United Way and over 15 donor-advised funds at the Community Foundation have contributed to the relief efforts.
Nearly $200,000 of the first round of grants were deployed on March 31, 2020, to 15 frontline organizations that are responding to critical needs across the Capital Region as assessed by county and city emergency response and community advisors. Urgent needs include mobilizing food and supplies and providing access to safe and reliable shelter to economically impacted or homeless individuals and families.
First-round grant recipients:
- Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady – providing grab and go dinner for youth and families, and online programming for youth during the club shutdown.
- Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area – providing and distributing meals to housing sites in Albany and Rensselaer Counties.
- CAPTAIN Community Human Services – providing an emergency food pantry, food delivery for children on free and reduced lunch program, households that are homebound, those that are quarantined, those that lack transportation, and senior citizens, and maintaining its runaway and homeless youth shelter.
- Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany – increasing capacity to provide food and household supplies at its 10 food pantries, six shelters, eight single room occupancy facilities, and two community residences, as well as six emergency assistance sites helping individuals and families experiencing urgent financial hardships.
- Food Pantries of the Capital District – increasing capacity for food delivery and service to its network of more than 80 food pantries across Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties.
- Franklin Community Center – increasing capacity to provide food, hygiene products and cleaning supplies at its food pantry and supporting rent forgiveness at Franklin Community Manor.
- IPH (Formerly Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless) – all programs remain in operation including Medical Respite, Healthy Connections, Community Connections Daytime Shelter, Safe Haven Emergency Shelter, Albany Emergency Shelter, Danielle’s House Amsterdam Shelter and a new, temporary shelter in Gloversville. Its programs provide basic needs for the homeless and low-income populations.
- Joseph’s House & Shelter – all programs remain in operation including emergency shelter, street outreach, and support services to homeless and formerly homeless individuals, youth, and families.
- Mechanicville Area Community Services Center – increasing capacity to pack and deliver food orders to community residents, elderly and those without transportation.
- St. Paul’s Center – continuing to provide homeless families with shelter, meals, cleaning supplies and support services.
- The Salvation Army, Saratoga – providing emergency deliveries of food and supplies to Saratoga County residents.
- Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region – increasing capacity to serve as an emergency food pantry and delivering food, personal care, and household supplies to Albany residents.
- Troy Area United Ministries, Inc. – providing to-go meals and groceries to low-income and food-insecure individuals and families.
- Unity House of Troy – increasing capacity at its Domestic Violence Shelter, providing pick-up and delivery meals and groceries to food-insecure individuals and families. Its Community Resources program is continuing to provide crisis intervention, counseling, emergency food, clothing and housewares, homelessness prevention, pregnancy care, laundry, and shower facilities and help with SNAP benefits.
- YWCA of the Greater Capital Region – continuing to provide low-income women and children with safe and affordable housing, help with basic needs, such as food and clothing, victim advocacy, help with addiction, job training, and career counseling, and case management.
Needs assessments are continuing and the second round of grants is expected to be deployed in the next week. Interested donors and partners should contact John Eberle at email@example.com.
Donations to the fund can be made online here or text COVID19 to 41444. For more information including an updated list of partners, please visit Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund.