Press Releases: August 19, 2020

GHC19RF Invests $1.45 Million to Provide Emergency Financial Assistance for Area’s Most Vulnerable

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

Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund Invests $1.45 Million to Provide Emergency Financial Assistance for Area’s Most Vulnerable 

HOUSTON, TX (August 18, 2020) – As the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the region’s most vulnerable families and individuals, the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund is investing $1.45 million in emerging needs grants to provide emergency financial assistance to the homeless community and those on the verge of homelessness, pregnant women and foster youth. The grants are intended to address urgent gaps in available community resources and enhance existing systems to better prepare for future disasters. 

The following organizations are receiving grant investments: 

  • Coalition for the Homeless ($836,270): Grant allows Coalition for the Homeless to implement the community-wide COVID-19 Housing Program, which will house 5,000 people over the next two years and limit the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless and emerging homeless populations. These efforts include finding alternate housing options to reduce encampments, hiring of housing navigators to address the pandemic-related housing surge, rapid rehousing as a bridge to permanent supportive housing, creating a homeless diversion program for those experiencing homelessness for the first time, and services to support health care and mental health access. 
  • Texas Center for Child and Family Studies ($350,000): Grant supports the immediate financial needs of foster families and nonprofit foster homes that have been impacted by COVID-19. Assistance would provide basic needs materials and supplies that support the family such as diapers, formula, PPE supplies, etc. 
  • Healthy Women Houston ($150,000): Grant provides emergency financial assistance to pregnant women that have increased economic and healthcare needs due to COVID-19. Assistance will be provided in the form of pre- and post-natal gift cards to address pregnancy-related needs, baby care kits and mother care kits, rideshare cards for medical visits and a dedicated resource coordinator to identify other needs and sources of support. 
  • Connective ($119,000): Connective is a disaster recovery and preparedness system for the Texas Gulf Coast Region that provides coordinated recovery for communities through centralized intake and application processes, technology-enabled coordination tools and streamlined data analysis. This grant will support the expansion of Connective’s customer-focused approach to make improvements to programs that enhance the COVID-19 response. 

“As the pandemic-related economic crisis continues into its fifth month, we are seeing the perilous effects on the community’s most vulnerable, including foster youth, pregnant women and the homeless community,” said Stephen Maislin, president and CEO of Greater Houston Community Foundation. “Anticipating a long-lasting economic impact, these grants provide essential resources to support our region’s most vulnerable residents who need assistance right now.”     

With this latest investment, the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund has provided $14.5 million in grants to support trusted nonprofits partners and grassroots charitable organizations in the four-county region. Because of the urgency to provide assistance, fund organizers plan to distribute the remaining funds in late August. To date, nearly $17 million has been contributed to the fund from leading local foundations, corporations and individuals. More information on grantees and donors can be found on the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund website.

“Since this recovery fund was launched, we’ve stressed that no one fund or organization can address the widespread community needs created by the pandemic,” said Anna M. Babin, senior advisor, United Way of Greater Houston. “Our concern deepens as we await decisions on additional federal aid because we know many individuals and families are in need of immediate assistance. These fund grants are meant to mitigate some of the existing financial strain for those in greatest need, but as we face the unknown of the coming months, more resources are urgently needed.” 

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 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