Press Releases: July 15, 2020

$1.525 Million Invested to Support Area’s Unemployed and Food Insecure Households

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CONTACT:   Hannah Savage | Carbonara Group | OFFICE: 713-524-8170 | CELL:713-819-1320 | EMAIL: hannah@carbonaragroup.com 

$1.525 Million Invested to Support Area’s Unemployed and Food Insecure Households in Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund’s Latest Emerging Needs Grants

HOUSTON, TX (July 15, 2020) – Amid a growing resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the Greater Houston region and an ongoing economic crisis, the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund is investing $1.525 million in emerging needs grants to support food insecure households and those who are unemployed and unable to receive government assistance. The grants are intended to address urgent gaps in available community resources.

The following organizations are receiving grant investments:

·         Get Shift Done for Houston ($1.5 million): Funds for the Houston Food Bank for its initiative with partner, Get Shift Done for Houston, to provide paid work to unemployed or furloughed workers in the local hospitality industry to replace critical services previously provided by volunteers before the pandemic. The initiative helps get food to community food pantries for distribution to those in need while also providing dollars to workers who are currently unemployed.

·         Every Texan and Young Invincibles ($25,000): Grant supports those who have lost job-based health insurance by providing training to Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund grantees to enroll COVID-19 impacted individuals and families into insurance affordability programs such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace Subsidies.

With this latest investment, the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund has provided $12 million in support through grants to trusted nonprofits in the four-county region. Because of the urgency to provide assistance, funds were invested with trusted nonprofit partners and grassroots charitable organizations who have proven systems and experience in serving the most vulnerable in our community in times of disaster. The full grantee list can be found on the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund website.

“The massive economic and health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has not only made it difficult for families to survive in these uncertain times, but increased unemployment has also jeopardized vitally needed health care coverage for many across Houston,” said Stephen Maislin, president and CEO of Greater Houston Community Foundation. “This round of grants will continue to provide essential resources to our community’s most vulnerable residents, and connect those in desperate need of medical coverage to programs that can help, especially as COVID-19 cases grow.” 

Leading local foundations, corporations and individuals have responded with contributions in cash and pledged gifts, growing the fund to $16.9 million to date. With rising COVID-19 cases in the Greater Houston region, fund organizers anticipate the needs to be significant and are appealing to everyone who can donate to do so by July 31, 2020 in preparation for a final round of grants in August.

“It is a volatile time for our city as the number of COVID-19 cases grow and the economic crisis for our region’s most vulnerable continues,” said Anna M. Babin, senior advisor, United Way of Greater Houston. “We anticipate a long-lasting economic impact, but also recognize those struggling need our assistance right now. We will continue to work with trusted nonprofit partners to swiftly make resources available to those in need.”

Those who need assistance are encouraged to call the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE, the community’s key 24/7 information source during times of disaster. United Way’s 211 provides callers with the most updated information on assistance with utilities, housing or rental assistance, crisis counseling, access to senior services, information on food pantries in the community and more. Assistance through 211 can also be accessed through the following methods in the event of long wait times due to periods of heavy call volume:

·         Visit 211texas.org to search resources online or chat online with a specialist

·         Email help@unitedwayhouston.org for assistance

To donate to the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund, visit www.GreaterHoustonRecovery.org or text “WEHELP” to 41444.

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About United Way of Greater Houston
For nearly 100 years, United Way of Greater Houston has brought together diverse partners and approaches to address the complex challenges holding people back. We are a driving force for good that connects our neighbors with opportunities to thrive. We help our neighbors achieve financial stability.  We provide services that support the physical and behavioral health of families and youth along with educational services that expand their skills and horizons.  We provide a safety net that catches the most vulnerable. We manage every donation with care to make the greatest impact across the four-county region of Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. We connect neighbors with help 24/7 through our 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. For more information, please visit, www.unitedwayhouston.org.

About Greater Houston Community Foundation
Greater Houston Community Foundation, one of Houston’s largest grant makers and leaders in philanthropic impact, has served the greater Houston community for 25 years. The organization supports high profile community and donor initiatives with the most comprehensive philanthropic resources, expertise, and innovative platforms. Greater Houston Community Foundation is widely considered to be the go-to partner for high-profile philanthropic partnerships in the Greater Houston area, including major disaster relief initiatives, such as the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund as well as Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.  Greater Houston Community Foundation leads collaborations that support the wellbeing and vitality of Houston, including Understanding Houston, in partnership with Rice Kinder Institute. The Foundation provides individuals, families, corporations, foundations, and advisors with the ability to expand their philanthropic impact. For more information, please visit, www.ghcf.org