Ever since they launched a countywide food and water distribution initiative in May, the Lucky Duck Foundation has delivered more than 100,000 meals to San Diego’s unsheltered homeless population. The milestone was made possible in part thanks to philanthropist Gwendolyn Sontheim, who provided leadership and financial support; the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department food services division, who packed the meals; and twelve social service agencies that distribute the food and water to the homeless. Since the program began, it has gone from feeding 400 people per day to over 1,000.
“The food and water distribution program provides lifesaving sustenance and connection to services for our county’s unsheltered homeless,” said Dan Shea, Lucky Duck board member.
Lucky Duck plans to work with the county to soon add COVID-19 prevention kits to its distribution efforts, filled with items like hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, and face coverings.
On August 31, Second Chance’s Job Readiness Training Program will expand to help San Diegans facing unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic. The program, which was originally created to help formerly incarcerated adults find work, will provide unemployed residents with four weeks of no-cost virtual training in which they’ll break down personal barriers to employment, develop new skills, create résumés, and fine-tune interview techniques. Visit secondchanceprogram.org for more information.
The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation has given more than $100,000 in grants and personal protective equipment to 33 local nonprofits struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. All of the recipients serve residents in Southeastern San Diego, a community that has been hit hard by the pandemic. Organizations that received the grants provide meals or groceries, educational services, transportation, senior support, mental health services, and other emergency needs.
“Organizations that fill cupboards with food, equip homes with learning resources and help older adults with their daily routines are examples of exactly what our community needs right now,” said Reginald Jones, the center’s president and CEO.
The center’s Southeastern San Diego COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund was made possible with initial funding from the Jacobs Family Foundation, and additional funds from the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund at the San Diego Foundation, Weil Family Foundation, San Diego Gas & Electric, the San Diego City Firefighters Association, and private donations.
Wesley House Student Residence, Inc., which provides affordable supportive housing to low-income and systemically marginalized college students, has received $20,000 from the San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund. They’re using the money to purchase PPE, implement regular and ongoing sanitizing and deep-cleaning measures, upgrade their technology so students can better access online classes, and ensure that programs and services can continue in the 2020–2021 school year.