Father Joe’s Villages recently got a $10,000 boost to its pandemic relief. The funds came in the form of matching $5,000 grants from Mission Federal Credit Union and Federal Home Loan Bank San Francisco.
Father Joe’s has helped place around 700 homeless San Diegans in local hotels and at the convention center while the coronavirus health crisis plays out. It also operates downtown food distribution events that feed an additional 500 or so people per day.
The San Diego Foundation has used its COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support a variety of local nonprofits, distributing more than $24 million in grants since the coronavirus crisis began. Here are a few of the recipients:
Voices for Children received a $100,000 grant to support its volunteer court-appointed special advocates (CASAs), who mentor foster youth and make recommendations to judges and other court officials on their behalf. The grant funding will be used to ensure that CASAs can continue their service during the pandemic and will enable Voices for Children to implement virtual recruitment and training methods to match 50 new volunteer CASAs with local kids in foster care.
Another $100,000 grant, funded in part by SDG&E, will help vulnerable San Diegan seniors stay healthy and continue living independently while in self-quarantine. ElderHelp has seen a 773 percent increase in requests for its services during the pandemic. It’s using the grant money in part to mobilize staff, to keep its food pantry stocked, and to safely deliver fresh groceries and household supplies to the doorsteps of local seniors.
“The greatest demand right now is help with urgent food, medication, and supplies, but we’re also working to address isolation and depression, and ease financial concerns,” said ElderHelp CEO Deborah Martin. “This grant allows us to meet the increasing demand and support the community at large.”
The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, a project of Alliance San Diego, is using its $50,000 COVID-19 Community Response Fund grant to provide $500 cash allowances to hundreds of immigrants who have lost their jobs or have been furloughed. The consortium has continued to fundraise nearly $1 million on top of that grant to help families in crisis.
“As soon as COVID hit, we saw large-scale unemployment and some of the immigrant community was not eligible for unemployment benefits or CARES Act money,” said Andrea Guerrero, Alliance San Diego’s executive director. “When the music stopped and we went into quarantine, the immigrant community was the most vulnerable and the most impacted.”
San Diego County Credit Union has taken its popular “Stuff the Bus” fundraiser online. Donations from the annual event, held in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education and iHeartMedia radio stations, will be used to provide the region’s 22,000 homeless kids with school supplies.
“Families and youth experiencing homelessness need resources and assistance more than ever during this uncertain time,” said Susie Terry, coordinator and homeless liaison at the Office of Education’s Foster Youth & Homeless Education Services. “This drive will allow us to lighten the load for these families in one small way.”
Sycuan Casino Resort will match donations made to Mama’s Kitchen’s Emergency Response Fund through the end of the month, up to $25,000. As of July 1, Mama’s Kitchen has raised $361,021 of its $450,000 goal; they have delivered more than 220,000 meals to critically ill San Diegans since the pandemic began. Donate at mamaskitchen.org.
Meals on Wheels San Diego County is hosting a virtual fitness fundraiser. Participants will be able to set up a personal March for Meals fundraising page and track the miles they’ve walked or run through August 23. Proceeds will help Meals on Wheels continue to deliver nutritious meals to local seniors. Sign up at meals-on-wheels.org.
This Thursday, the Rock Church City Heights campus will host a drive-thru food distribution event that’s free and open to the community at large. Supplies will be available from noon until they run out. Similar drive-thru events are held at the church every second Thursday of the month, and at the Rock Church San Marcos every first Thursday.
If you would like to receive groceries and other household supplies or if you’d like to volunteer, partner, or donate, please visit sdrock.com/ministries/provisions/.
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