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COVID-19 Response Fund
A collaborative, community response to deploy resources to local nonprofit organizations
Together with several local foundations, the Omaha Community Foundation has launched the COVID-19 Response Fund to provide flexible resources to organizations in the metro area working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.
While our healthcare systems, public health practitioners, and local universities are doing everything in their power to slow the spread of coronavirus, our local nonprofits are also preparing to assist those most vulnerable during this unprecedented time.
The first phase of this work is intended to be a rapid response to immediate needs. After spending the last few weeks learning more about our local needs and the changing nature of this unprecedented situation, the Foundation has moved into the next phase of grantmaking as of April 3, 2020.
Operating grants will fund organizations that have deep roots in the community and strong experience working with residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days, people with limited English language proficiency, healthcare and low-wage workers, and communities of color, among others.
Any individual can donate to the fund online.
Our partners at the United Way of the Midlands are working diligently to connect people in need with help. If you are looking for immediate assistance in finding a food pantry, paying a utility bill, accessing safe housing or shelter, receiving counseling services and more, 211 is available 24/7 by phone or text. Additional information can be found on the 211 website.
Areas of Need
The following areas of need will be the focus of this fund. We are working with several local partners across sectors to understand how organizations are providing these important safety nets to those most vulnerable in the metro area.
FOOD SUPPORT: With school closings, many young people are missing out on their one meal for the day. Low wage and/or hourly workers may further struggle with access to food.
HEALTHCARE: Healthcare organizations will be both handling actual cases of the virus, but also caring for those in our most vulnerable populations.
EMERGENCY HOUSING: These service providers need to stay open and take extra measures to keep their clients safe during this difficult time.
EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: Families and individuals may struggle with rent, mortgage, or utility assistance due to job loss or loss of wages.
SENIORS: Seniors are among the most affected by the virus but will also have less access to needed medication and food due to social distancing strategies.
To date the Response Fund has given grants to the following nonprofits:
• Food Bank for the Heartland: Support for mobile pantries and food replenishment efforts.
• Heart Ministry Center: Support to address increased demand from their food pantry services.
• Together, Inc: Support to address increased demand from their food pantry services.
• Visiting Nurse Association (VNA): Support for personal protective equipment and telehealth services.
• Intercultural Senior Center: Support to increase their food pantry capacity and purchase culturally and dietary specific foods for seniors not available at the Food Bank.
• Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership (ENCAP): Support providing direct financial assistance to clients and infrastructure to support the continuity of emergency services.
• Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MAACH): Support for homeless mitigation plan implementation.
• New Visions Homeless Services: Support for meal site operations including increased cleaning and sanitizing, and technology support at their Omaha and Council Bluffs locations.
You can keep up with the latest COVID-19 Response Fund news on our blog.