CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Announces $245,000 in Initial Grants

CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Announces $245,000 in Initial Grants

United Way of the CSRA and the Community Foundation for the CSRA partnered to create the CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide needed resources to nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic serving our most vulnerable populations.

Today, the organizations announced $245,000 in initial grants will be directed to the following organizations to assist their efforts:

The Salvation Army ($75,000) – Funding will support the conversion of the Center of Hope emergency shelter program from an overnight only shelter into a 24-hour emergency shelter that aims to protect the homeless population from exposure to and spread of the virus, and provide safe shelter and food for approximately 120 men, women and children. Funding will also help cover costs associated with moving and expanding the daily evening feeding program. This program is open to the public for dinner and is now at the Kroc Center.

Family Connection ($75,000) – This grant will primarily focus on bringing resources to rural counties. Due to COVID-19, Family Connection sites are receiving large numbers of requests for assistance with food, rent, utilities and other supportive services. They are also helping families bridge the technology gap so children without access to the internet can continue to learn from their homes.

Golden Harvest Food Bank ($50,000) – Providing food in 25 counties across two states, Golden Harvest is working with food pantries, soup kitchens and school systems to meet the increased demand for food due to COVID-19. Funding will support the purchase of food to provide an additional 50,000 meals to residents in our communities who need it most.

Family YMCA of Greater Augusta ($25,000) – The Family Y is operating a childcare program that serves children of first responders and other essential personnel in the region who must continue to work. The grant will support the cost of providing free childcare at four Family Y locations. The grant will also help provide emergency meals for families in need.

Economic Opportunity Authority (EOA) ($20,000) – Funding will place families with children who are currently being sheltered at the Center for Hope in permanent housing and provide supportive services to stabilize their family situation and prevent future homelessness. Additional assistance will be directed toward several other families living in rural communities who are in danger of becoming homeless due to COVID-19.

These grants have been made possible by contributions to the CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund from Augusta National Golf Club, Community Foundation for the CSRA, United Way of the CSRA, Chestnut Family Foundation, Georgia Power Foundation, Truist, Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation and scores of individuals in our community. As the need continues to rapidly increase throughout the region, please join these community leaders and donate to the CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund today at www.uwcsra.org or www.cfcsra.org.

United Way and Community Foundation staff, with guidance from a volunteer advisory committee comprised of respected community leaders, are working together to identify needs and gaps in resources during this ongoing pandemic. Nonprofits in the community can submit applications through the Community Foundation website. Support funds will be released on a rolling basis throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of this crisis, making it possible to deploy resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases.

The first few phases of grants will focus on the immediate basic needs of financially vulnerable individuals and families to help bolster resilience in affected communities. These vital needs range from housing support (including shelter, rent and mortgage); utilities and transportation assistance; and food, personal hygiene items, childcare, etc.

We anticipate our region will continue to experience economic burdens during this time.  The Community Foundation for the CSRA and the United Way of the CSRA will continue to assess the short and long-term impacts of this health and economic crisis on this area.  Funding priorities may shift as our understanding of need and where we can be most impactful deepens.

In an effort to direct those most in need of immediate assistance to critical resources, individuals can get connected to United Way’s free information and referral service by dialing 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211csra.org to use the Community Resource Database.  Each call is completely free and confidential.