United Way of Greater Los Angeles aids more than 150 organizations county-wide with critical supplies for housing and homeless service organizations and mini-grants to community organizations
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LOS ANGELES—The United Way of Greater Los Angeles Pandemic Relief Fund has announced a second round of grants. The fund is directly providing supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, water and non-contact thermometers to more than 100 housing and homelessness organizations throughout the region as they address the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, 45 community organizations will receive “mini-grants” to purchase supplies and food.
“We’re in a public health emergency, and the Pandemic Relief Fund is supporting immediate action for our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “We’ve seen gaps and delays in supply chains for protective gear, forcing frontline workers to put their health at risk. United Way’s long-standing relationships across sectors enabled us to quickly secure supplies for community organizations experiencing a dramatic rise in needs, and our mini-grants have helped these organizations respond to emergency relief during COVID-19.”
Established on March 13, the Pandemic Relief Fund has raised donations large and small, from individual $10 contributions to six-and seven-figure support from foundations, individuals and the regional business community. In addition to the March 24 ‘TeLAthon’ and the April 23rd NFL Draft-a-Thon, fundraising efforts and events from Zoom concerts to the sale of t-shirts designed by a local artist raise more money every day.
The first round of grants, issued in late March, supported organizations addressing three vulnerable groups in the first weeks of the pandemic: people experiencing homelessness, low-income entrepreneurs such as food vendors, and low-income students and their families. A third round of grants will be announced next week.
UWGLA is gathering donations and purchasing supplies directly from manufacturers and private companies. Close relationships throughout the region facilitated these connections. Supplies include hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, water, and non-contact thermometers. More than 100 housing and homeless service organizations will benefit from the supplies and personal protective equipment to protect their employees and the vulnerable people they serve. Items are being gathered in a warehouse generously provided by UPS, and UWGLA is facilitating pickups of these supplies from grantees.
“We are so grateful for the support of United Way in helping us provide life-saving services for those most in need during this time of crisis,” said Jennifer Hark Dietz, Executive Director of PATH. “Our unhoused neighbors lack access to safe shelter and hygiene, and are highly at-risk of contracting COVID-19. Our continued work as frontline service workers is more critical than ever and community partners like United Way help move PATH’s mission forward during the crisis and beyond.”
Trusted community organizations are stepping up and answering the call to serve their communities.The Pandemic Relief Fund allows UWGLA to turn around mini grants of a few thousand dollars in a matter of short weeks. From La Verne to San Pedro, 45 organizations throughout Los Angeles County will receive “mini-grants.” Grantees are organizations that serve our most vulnerable including faith-based, housing and homeless services, food pantries and youth services.
"The grant to North Valley Caring Services has come at a critical time. We’ve used it to purchase boxes and PPE for our volunteers and staff,” said Manuel Flores, Executive Director, North Valley Caring Services. “Last week over 2,000 families came to our ‘Drive-Through’ Food Pantry and received boxes of fresh produce and staples. Thanks to the grant, we’ve also been able to double our Meal Outreach, serving over 1,500 meals last week to homeless families living in motels, quarantined elderly and homeless individuals.”
"We're so excited about this grant because it will allow us to purchase more fresh and healthy food for the people in our community who need it the most right now,” said Kristen Cox, Executive Director of Long Beach Community Table. “This will make a huge difference in people's lives and will afford them dignity and the knowledge that there are people who really care."
Members of the public may donate at the link below to help those most vulnerable in this global coronavirus crisis.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization fighting to end poverty by preparing students for high school graduation, college, and the workforce; housing our homeless neighbors; and guiding hard-working families towards economic mobility. United Way identifies the root causes of poverty and works strategically to solve them by building alliances across all sectors, funding targeted programs and advocating for change.