So many individuals and families in our region continue to suffer terribly under the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus and its fallout. Applications for unemployment benefits are at an all-time high, and local human service nonprofits now report a 3-5 fold increase in demand for their services. Direct financial assistance to individuals and families hardest hit by the crisis remains a top priority for our COVID-19 Response Fund.
Each of the following Round 4 grantees have the experience, community reach, and infrastructure to deploy financial assistance to our most vulnerable families and individuals. The grants, which total $280,000, will provide direct cash payments, emergency loans, and direct payments of rent, utilities, and groceries to those who most need it, as more fully described below.
In addition, through the grant to CASA de Virginia, we have given special attention to the disproportionate impact of the virus on the Latinx and Hispanic communities in Northern Virginia. Most of our health districts now report COVID-19 cases disaggregated by race and ethnicity. In the Fairfax Health District alone, for example, their most recent data dashboard shows that Latinx and Hispanics constitute 16.8% of the total county population but 63.7% of the COVID-19 cases!
ALIVE! - $40,000
Round Four Grantees
Support for direct financial assistance to residents of the City of Alexandria through ALIVE!’s existing financial assistance program. Recipients are referred to the program by social workers and case managers from ALIVE!’s extensive network of congregations, nonprofits, civic organizations, city agencies, and volunteers. Clients receive up to $500 for support for rent, utilities, medical expenses, or groceries.
Arlington Thrive - $40,000
Support for same-day, emergency financial assistance to Arlington County’s most vulnerable residents who have been impacted by the virus and its health and economic fallout. Clients include the working poor, elderly and disabled people on a fixed income, and the homeless and formerly homeless who need Arlington Thrive’s funds as a “safety net” until they find firmer financial footing. Families with children are given the highest priority, and one-third of the individuals served by Arlington Thrive are children. The grant would serve approximately 250 individuals and families.
CASA de Virginia - $40,000
Support for the Solidarity Fund that distributes direct cash assistance to Latinx and Hispanic immigrant communities across Northern Virginia who have been disproportionately impacted by the health and economic fallout of the virus. Families receive up to $500 and individuals up to $250 in direct cash assistance. Priority is given to people who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, uninsured and underinsured residents who are sick with the virus, parents of children identified through CASA’s after school program who are in dire financial straits, and other families displaying extraordinary need who have been identified by CASA employees, volunteers, and community partners. The grant will serve approximately 60-64 families and individuals.
Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties - $40,000
Matching funds for the “Pay it Forward” direct assistance loan program of 100 Women Strong. Funding will help match a $50,000 grant from 100 Women Strong for direct loan assistance to individuals and families in Loudoun County experiencing a financial crisis. The program will be administered by Northern Virginia Family Service. Direct emergency assistance loans will be offered for rent, utilities, car loan payments, medical insurance, childcare needs, and the like. Loans will carry no interest for the first 6 months, then a 2% interest rate thereafter until fully paid. All interest and principal payments will solely benefit the Pay it Forward Fund balance for future deployment to Loudoun County’s most vulnerable residents.
Northern Virginia Family Service - $120,000
Support for residents in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park who seek help through NVFS’ COVID-19 emergency assistance program for payment of medical bills, housing expenses, childcare, and other urgent needs. Help is deployed via an intake and case management system manned by NVFS employees. Case managers assist clients in accessing all available resources, which amplifies the reach of emergency assistance funds. Payments are made directly to service providers on the client’s behalf.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell shared last week that nearly 40% of all households in America earning less than $40,000 a year had someone loose a job in March, a heartbreaking statistic that hints at the depth of hardship the pandemic has created and its disproportionate impact on those who can least withstand the blow. COVID-19 has revealed fractures in our economy that some did not even realize existed, fractures that are clearly affecting health and economic outcomes across America.
In every structural break there lies an opportunity to “build back better.” Let’s emerge from COVID-19 with a community that truly works for everyone.