Jackson Hayes moved to Atlanta from Charlotte, North Carolina to “get out of his comfort zone,” and pursue his interests in entertainment.

“I’m single and live by myself — of course I’ve got some friends and stuff, and they’re like family,” Jackson says, adjusting the bands of a N95 mask as it shifts down the bridge of his nose. “I dance, sing and act as well, and Atlanta is a melting pot for Black entrepreneurs. If you want to try your hand in the entertainment industry, you want to come here.”

Jackson’s had a day job in health care, though, for the past couple years. His godbrother’s family had been providing care in group homes around Charlotte for about 20 years, but they recently decided to open a branch in Macon.

“I decided to help them with that, and that way it would give me a skillset and allow me to be financially stable,” Jackson says.

He worked in Intensive Family Intervention Services, which he said acted as a “middle point” for a child who had been in the juvenile detention system. They helped connect kids with advocates, teachers, community leaders and therapists—and it was free to families that had insurance.

But then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“We’re paid for by the government, and once there’s no kids, there’s no money,” he says. “We can do Zoom

meetings and stuff like that, but that stopped and eventually it left us with no clients.”

He was furloughed from his position. COVID-19, and statewide shutdowns in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the infectious and potentially deadly disease, also put a strain on any possible career moves in the entertainment industry.

Months later, Jackson needed help paying his rent. He had been dipping into his savings, and those funds were starting to get low. He needed help. He found help on a message board for his apartment complex in East Point, he says.

Jackson knew that this would be his best opportunity to get the help he needed.

He showed up with papers tucked into the pockets of an Army green jacket, all of which had been detailed online for him to bring to make the process easy for him, he says.

“I live in a great facility,” Jackson says. “I had been checking out the message board, and I made sure all my bases were covered. I got a fast response, and it was quick and fast and [event coordinators] let me know all the documents I needed.”

Thankfully, Jackson was able to use his phone to look up the website he saw on his community’s message board, review the necessary requirements and then find out all of the documents he needed.

But this can be a barrier for many people, says Tosin Ogunnoiki, marketing specialist for the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.

I feel like the main barrier is the technology barrier,” Tosin says. “The biggest issue is technology and being able to spread the word about assistance.”

Each situation and reason people need assistance is different, and Tosin says he tries to be

patient and reassuring with each client.

The discussion with clients can often get emotional and tense, he says. That’s understandable.

“I try to be sensitive to [each situation],” he says. “I’ve definitely seen a couple of people come in with eviction notices here, and I think everybody that comes in is scared—a lot of people out there are scared they will lose their home.”

Pamela Hayes—no relation to Jackson— had that same fear. She lives in a South Atlanta neighborhood where she was born and raised. She had gotten a job in the restaurant industry to support her family and small children toward the end of 2019, but after only a few months on the job she heard rumblings of the possible shutdown if the pandemic were to make its way to Georgia.

It “didn’t close down at first,” she said, but her hours were cut back drastically. As the situation became even more dire, the restaurant shut down for good.

“They said it was a temporary thing, and it just lingered on,” Pamela says. “When I lost my job, I applied for unemployment. I applied for that in May, and I was already struggling by then. I didn’t get unemployment until last month [October].

“I had to wait that long, trying and struggling to pay bills. I had called and called the unemployment office for almost 30 days straight.

“It was so much on me at one time.”

But someone directed Pamela to the event hosted by United Way that weekend.

“It was so easy, and they were all so nice to me,” she says.

Both Jackson and Pamela said the process to apply—while seemingly daunting at first—was quick and easy, and they were thankful for the team of workers who assisted them to make sure they were able to get the help they needed.

“I didn’t want to let myself be drowning and set myself all the way back,” Jackson says. “I’m looking for another job right now, but that takes time. This is enough to get me the boost I needed.”

If you need help finding mortgage or rental assistance and would like to meet with someone in-person who can help you, here are a list of available times and days at the Loudermilk Conference Center at 40 Courtland Street. NE., Atlanta, 30303.

To check your eligibility for assistance through the Atlanta Emergency Housing Assistance Program, click here.

Editor’s Note: This story’s featured image is from Housing Justice League’s Facebook page. 

 

Atlanta is a community full of champions—people who work each day to improve the quality of life for every single person in that community.

Greater Atlanta needs even more champions, though, if we’re going to change our standing as the “Capital of Inequality” in America—a title we’ve carried for the second-straight year.

But first, in order to do that, we have to address the facts. Today, news and researchers have brought to light the facts around racial wealth disparities that exist and have for some time.

White families have substantially more wealth than Black families.

According to a report from the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, the median household income in Atlanta for white families is $83,722 compared to $28,105 for Black families.

The average African American-owned business is valued at roughly $58,000. Whereas the average white-owned business is valued at $658,000.

Homeownership can be another key component of wealth building, and we see the same trend here. After rebuilding from the 2008 recession, in Greater Atlanta about 70 percent of white families are homeowners compared to 46 percent of Black families.

It’s a trend not only here in Atlanta and in the South, but across the United States.

These disparities arise from a system steeped in racism and founded upon it. Families living in neighboring zip codes don’t have the same opportunities as those just down the road.

Think of your community as a forest of trees—they represent our health system, education system, financial system and even our housing system.

While a tree may appear healthy, sometimes it takes looking beneath its surface and examining its roots and groundwater to find that it’s a root system in decay.

Our community, similarly to this forest, can only thrive from the ground up, and it becomes our challenge to address the unseen ideologies—the groundwater— that feed policies and investments into the roots of our communities. The groundwater that should provide essential nutrition and make a system strong is tainted by systemic racism.

 

Weather the storm

 

Housing policies from the 1940s determined where banks, developers and government would or would not invest in Atlanta. Neighborhoods that were predominantly Black were marked as not eligible or worthy of investment. They were outlined on maps and ultimately this practice was called “redlining.”

United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Child Well-Being Map shows that despite the fact discriminatory redlining practices officially ended in 1967, the disinvestment and its after-affects continue. Black and Brown Atlantans have suffered despite their individual efforts. Home values, education investments and opportunities to accumulate wealth were limited.

We need champions to call out these problems—champions like Alison Johnson.

Alison is the executive director of Housing Justice League, a community-led grassroots organization. Housing Justice League’s mission is to work with tenants and renters to stimulate their power and drive positive impact in organizing for fair housing and tenant rights.

Housing Justice League also uses this position to provide education and support to tenants and renters while informing policy that can help reverse this inequity in housing.

Alison said in a Housing Justice Webinar hosted by Black Futures Lab that she was “born and raised” in the community of Peoplestown in Atlanta. She’s lived there all of her life, “leading the fight to mitigate the harm” caused by issues around redlining.

While she lives in Peoplestown, her family’s journey began with her grandfather in the old Atlanta community of Buttermilk Bottoms. She said her grandfather worked as a chef in a neighboring community, but Buttermilk Bottoms was where he would come home after those long days at work. She said the family was forced out of his community after the city’s “urban renewal” program came in to “clear away the slums.” They moved to what is now Old Fourth Ward, and after settling there, they were once again forced out of the community with the building of a new highway system.

The family moved then to Summerhill. This was where her parents met and married, her father a city employee and mother a stay-at-home mom who was a community volunteer that spent much of her time caring for Alison and her sister, who was deaf. Her mother and father were forced out of a rental home once again and into the Peoplestown community. It took several years, Alison said, for her family to finally secure homeownership.

It wasn’t much, but they “made it a home.”

So, Alison continues to be champion for those in Atlanta with similar stories, displaced by longstanding racist systems. She has become a champion to fight and mitigate the harm and displacement so many renters face.

“I want to make sure people who are living in these communities know exactly how important family is and how grateful we are for our culture…and how many storms we’ve been able to weather in order to remain and sustain in the communities where we are living,” she said in the video.

 

Address Groundwater Problems

 

In order to create the thriving community we aspire to—to create a housing system that can thrive—we must address the groundwater problems. We must end systemic racism and invest in solutions that address these root causes.

Homeownership in Atlanta has created this gap that has widened between white families and Black families. Private banking policies and national policies have created obstacles for Black families.

By not addressing these racial gaps, it has cost the United States $16 trillion.

United Way of Greater Atlanta announced the United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund in July 2020 to tackle the systemic issues underlying the correlation between race and zip codes, place and equity. Others were taking on this challenge, too, but it was time to unite and heal together.

This is why United Way has partnered with and reached out to organizations involved in work addressing these housing gaps—organizations like Housing Justice League.

Do you want to become a champion for your community? Join United Way as we work to create a more just, equitable and inclusive Greater Atlanta. Donate today to the United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund.

ATLANTA –  November 19, 2020 – The Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a joint effort from Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, today announces grants supporting education-focused interventions, food insecurity, housing and mental health services. To date, the Fund has raised more than $25 million through collective resources from public and private donors across the region. Since the Fund was announced in March, the two organizations swiftly optimized open applications as well as online quantitative data facilitation tools to identify the areas of greatest need and the most vulnerable populations to determine where to deliver philanthropic funds.

 

These grants total $6.511 million and will be distributed to 214 organizations in response to the region’s needs as a result of COVID-19. During this round of grants, BIPOC-led (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) organizations were prioritized and received over 50% of funding. A grand total of nearly $25 million from the Fund has been mobilized to benefit 455 nonprofits thus far. A full listing of today’s grants is detailed below. These, as well as those made in the earlier rounds, are listed on both the Community Foundation’s website and United Way’s website.

 

Individuals who wish to contribute to supporting our region’s nonprofits can donate to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund here. Support funds will be released on a rolling basis throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis.

 

Housing Grants:

In the past seven months, more than 1.4 million Georgians have received unemployment benefits. According to Neighborhood Nexus’ COVID-19 weekly report, there were 21,088 unemployment claims the week of October 18 – a 910% increase from the week of March 8 when the first case of COVID-19 came to Georgia. With loss of employment, questions about how families will maintain housing without employment become a significant concern.

 

Mental Health Services Grants:

In 2020, people have reported an increase in the number of mental health challenges they are facing; the severity is also more intense. Rates of symptoms in the second quarter of 2020 are significantly higher than in previous years: rates of anxiety increased from 8.1% in 2019 to 25.5% in 2020; depression rates went from 6.5% in 2019 to 24.3% in 2020; suicide ideation rates went from 4.3% in 2018 to 10.7% in 2020.

 

Education-focused Interventions Grants:

Nearly 90,000 students are without access to technology in just seven regional school districts (includes both rural and metro districts), representing technology hardware needs of $43.7 million and internet access needs of $10.9 million. Districts/schools have reduced budgets but an increased need for and a shortage of PPE and cleaning supplies. As 96% of schools reopen with some kind of virtual learning options, many working families throughout the region have no choice but to return to work without safe and licensed options for children to safely learn throughout the day.

 

As a result of COVID-19 related challenges, thousands of students may not return to college, which will have a residual impact on Georgia’s economic mobility due to a decrease in our talent pipeline.

 

Food Insecurity Grants:

The current and prospective economic picture with continued unemployment suggests food insecurity will continue to be a significant issue over the coming months. There are substantial racial disparities in food insecurity rates that have been exacerbated by the pandemic: Black households are over two times more likely to be food insecure than white households, while Latinx households food insecurity rates are three times as high as white households. Both of these population groups are also disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Additional disparities in food security can be seen in rural areas, where residents often do not have easy access to local emergency food resources like a food pantry and must travel to neighboring counties to receive assistance.

 

A full listing of grantees for the eighth round of grants is listed below.

  1. 100 Black Men of North Metro Atlanta – $25,000 to support coaches and mentors directly working with male students to support academic gains over the year.
  2. 3D Girls – $17,500 for care coordination to address feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation.
  3. 7 Bridges to Recovery – $25,000 to provide safe in-person learning labs for children during distanced learning with on-site tutors.
  4. Africa’s Children’s Fund – $50,000 for rapid re-housing and utility assistance program provided to families and people in City of Atlanta, Fulton, DeKalb, Henry, Clayton and Cobb Counties.
  5. Allen Temple AME Church of Atlanta – $20,000 to provide WiFi Safe Space for children to access virtual learning with safe adult supervision, and providing food during the day to attending students.
  6. Anita Lane Ministries – $20,000 for on-site tutorial lab for 25 students at a time.
  7. Assure Elder Care – $10,000 to support stable housing for seniors in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties.
  8. Atlanta Educational Telecommunications Collaborative, dba Public Broadcasting Atlanta – $20,000 for tutorial services for Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb and Fulton districts.
  9. Atlanta Habitat For Humanity – $50,000 for mortgage assistance to those with mortgages from Habitat.
  10. Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition – $25,000 to enhance mental health resources and provide training for staff and peer specialists such as mental health first aid.
  11. Atlanta Jobs with Justice – $50,000 to provide emergency assistance to those that have rental arrears as an immediate service but are unable to receive Unemployment Insurance and addressing systemic issues with Unemployment Insurance.
  12. Atlanta Partners for Education – $37,500 to pilot learning hubs with churches and other community partners to provide additional opportunities for students to continue their schooling, while receiving the benefits of a high quality, and in-person education.
  13. Atlanta Victim Assistance – $50,000 to respond to victim’s needs, including healing circles and support groups.
  14. Auditory-Verbal Center – $10,000 to provide digital telehealth services for the hearing impaired.
  15. Berean Outreach Ministry – $33,000 to address food insecurity in the Westside of Atlanta.
  16. BestFit – $75,000 for Tech Essentials Care Packages for homeless or foster care college students.
  17. Bethany Christian Services of Georgia – $25,000 for individual and family counseling that addresses post-traumatic stress and intensive family interventions.
  18. Bethesda Christian Academy – $30,000 to provide a safe and stable learning environment for children whose families must work.
  19. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta – $50,000 for mentoring in metro Atlanta with a focus on both academic and social emotional support
  20. Black Child Development Institute-Atlanta – $45,000 to expand the Strength Within program.
  21. Black Women’s Health Imperative – $50,000 to modify the SIS Circles program to a virtual format that empowers teen girls of color.
  22. BlazeSports America – $20,000 for therapeutic recreation programs for veterans with disabilities and PTSD, as well as transportation, access to healthy foods and peer-to-peer support.
  23. Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier – $39,865 to provide a safe space for students to access virtual learning opportunities, including tutoring in small groups with qualified teachers.
  24. Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta – $100,000 to address the digital divide for students, ongoing technology support and safe care during virtual learning and after school as needed.
  25. Boys & Girls Clubs of North Georgia – $15,000 for after school programming focused on homework help and and tutoring in Pickens County.
  26. Bread of Life Development Ministries – $50,000 to address food insecurity in metro Atlanta.
  27. Bright Futures Atlanta – $30,000 for college preparation and work readiness opportunities for students from 5th to 12th grade on Atlanta’s Westside, access to camps to ensure safe and monitored access to all program and public school virtual classrooms.
  28. Brown Toy Box – $50,000 for STEAM programming specifically for Black and Brown students in Atlanta Public Schools and Clayton County school districts.
  29. C Life’s Fulfillment – $10,000 to provide a safe space for children of working parents during virtual learning.
  30. Calvary Refuge – $10,000 to re-house or prevent homelessness for families, many of which are served through shelter and transition services.
  31. Caminar Latino – $20,000 to provide the Latinx community with prevention services for those experiencing family and domestic violence.
  32. Caring For Others – $50,000 to address food insecurity and increase access to local, healthy, fresh foods in metro Atlanta.
  33. CaringWorks – $50,000 to train staff in community resilience, to advocate and educate on issues related to racial inequity and to provide behavioral health services.
  34. Carrie Steele-Pitts Home – $25,000 for increased behavioral health services focused on life skills and trauma informed care.
  35. CDF ACTION – $21,000 to support WiFi access, device and support to residents of two Clarkston apartments.
  36. Cherokee FOCUS – $10,000 for work readiness programming and general education diplomas for students in Cherokee County.
  37. Children’s Development Academy – $30,000 for subsidized high quality child care for low-income essential workers.
  38. Christ The Restorer Ministry – $15,000 to provide transitional housing and emergency housing to individuals and families Gwinnett County.
  39. City of Refuge – $50,000 for on campus classrooms for homeless students to access virtual learning in Atlanta and receive support from education facilitators.
  40. Clarkston Community Center Foundation – $35,000 to provide free, supervised open learning spaces for students in virtual classrooms in Clarkston.
  41. Clarkston Community Health Center – $10,000 for mental health services and prescription access.
  42. Clifton Sanctuary Ministries – $5,250 to provide housing stability and wrap-around supports for homeless men.
  43. Cobb Collaborative – $5,000 for digital resources and virtual workshops for nonprofits and community members focused on building capacity related to mental health and wellness.
  44. College Clinic – $10,000 to provide programming focused on college access, including preparation and the application process.
  45. Communities in Schools of Atlanta – $75,000 to provide high touch support for students and families through virtual learning.
  46. Community Farmers Markets – $10,000 to increase access to local food, support local farmers and minimize the effect of COVID-19 on the local food ecosystem.
  47. Concrete Jungle – $10,000 to increase access to fresh healthy food for medically fragile and other food insecure households.
  48. Connecting Henry – $25,000 to prevent homelessness and maintain family stability in Henry County.
  49. Cool Girls – $5,000 to address food insecurity for families.
  50. Corners Outreach – $50,000 for small group tutoring for students more than one grade level behind in reading in partnership with multiple elementary schools in Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties.
  51. Covenant House Georgia – $20,000 for housing stabilization services for youth ages 16-24 experiencing homelessness, or at risk of homelessness and trafficking.
  52. Create Your Dreams – $40,000 for full day learning pods for children 7 to 17 in Atlanta to ensure access to virtual learning provided by Atlanta Public Schools and tutoring and academic support as needed.
  53. Diabetes Association of Atlanta – $26,000 to address access to healthy food in areas and populations either with or at risk of diabetes.
  54. Dukes Foundation – $40,000 to provide at-home equipment and internet connectivity.
  55. Duluth Cooperative Ministry – $5,000 to address food insecurity in Duluth.
  56. East Atlanta Kids Club – $18,000 to address food insecurity on the Eastside of Atlanta.
  57. Easter Seals North Georgia – $85,000 to serve children and families in DeKalb County with quality early learning experiences, including the purchase of laptops, internet and learning platforms.
  58. Elaine Clark Center – $10,000 for subsidized high quality care for families with children with special needs and supports for children on IEPs with school districts.
  59. Empowerment Resource Center – $50,000 for onsite and telemedicine behavioral health services.
  60. Everybody Wins Atlanta – $22,000 for a reading and mentoring program for struggling readers and access to home libraries.
  61. Extraordinary Life Community Church – $14,250 for healing groups and counseling.
  62. Families of Children under Stress – $12,500 for care coordination and integrated services that combat stress and social isolation.
  63. Family Health Centers of Georgia – $50,000 for school-based health services for students, families and the broader community.
  64. Family Heritage Foundation – $50,000 to provide financial assistance to individuals and families who are housing vulnerable due to COVID-19.
  65. Family Life Restoration Center – $25,000 to address food insecurity in Cobb County.
  66. Family Promise of Hall County – $6,750 to provide emergency assistance and long-term housing stabilization to families in Hall County.
  67. Family Promise of New Rock – $7,500 to provide emergency financial assistance to individuals and households to bridge gaps in rent, utilities and security deposits for housing.
  68. Fayette FACTOR (Fayette Alliance Connecting Together Our Resources) – $28,000 to work with schools to serve primarily BIPOC families with housing stabilization services.
  69. Feeding GA Families – $13,000 to address food insecurity in College Park.
  70. Fill Ministries dba Meals by Grace – $10,000 to address food insecurity in Forsyth County.
  71. Food Security for America – $5,000 to address food insecurity in apartment complexes in Cobb and Fulton Counties.
  72. Four Corners Group – $15,000 for job readiness training and employment opportunities for at-risk youth to ensure academic success and reduce recidivism.
  73. Friends of Atlanta Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill Park Communities Collaborative – $23,000 to address food insecurity in south Atlanta, including the Browns Mill, Lakewood, Norwood Manor, Thomasville Heights and Stonewall Heritage neighborhoods.
  74. Frontline Housing – $50,000 to provide rapid rehousing services for families living in motels and in need of permanent housing.
  75. Future Foundation – $40,000 for virtual tutoring program for students in Fulton County for both math and language arts, targeting learning loss and challenges to virtual learning for enrolled students.
  76. Georgia Foundation for Early Care + Learning – $45,000 to provide critical child care scholarships to children of essential workers in the COVID-19 Relief Fund footprint.
  77. Generation STEM dba The STEAM Generation – $14,000 so that vulnerable and low-income students at Title 1 schools can receive access to in-person, hands-on project based learning and after-school enrichment during this exacerbated period of educational inequities.
  78. Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN) – $14,000 to provide grocery assistance to asylum seekers and immigrant victims of domestic violence.
  79. Georgia Community Support & Solutions, dba InCommunity – $15,000 for the purchase of devices for children of essential workers, specifically those providing direct serve needs to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  80. Georgia Mountains YMCA – $15,000 for providing students access to a safe facility during times the schools are virtual.
  81. Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education – $35,000 for state and regional advocacy efforts to examine policy and programmatic issues critical to COVID recovery efforts specifically impacting education outcomes.
  82. GeorgiaCAN – $10,000 for advocacy efforts for families of economically disadvantaged students and those with special needs.
  83. Georgians for a Healthy Future – $15,000 for policy efforts for equitable access to high quality behavioral health services and supports.
  84. Gilgal – $28,950 for integrated mental health services and staff training for trauma informed care.
  85. Good News Clinics – $40,000 for depression screenings and counseling services.
  86. Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund – $150,000 for multiple digital learning improvements for early learning access, for students, for teachers and even for parents.
  87. H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People be Empowered) – $9,000 for rent and childcare assistance for single parents attending school.
  88. Habitat for Humanity DeKalb – $50,000 to assist current homeowners and future homeowners who may be adversely affected, facing unexpected lost wages and increased childcare costs.
  89. Hand, Heart and Soul Project – $50,000 for a community garden and food distribution site in Forest Park.
  90. Harvest Rain Early Learning Academy – $30,000 to provide subsidized high quality early learning experiences and in person access for children of essential workers.
  91. Haven of Light International – $16,800 for online support groups and trainings that address domestic violence, racial trauma and resilience.
  92. Helping Hands for the Deaf – $6,000 for addressing food insecurity among deaf individuals.
  93. Hispanic Alliance Georgia – $50,000 for food pantry providing culturally appropriate food for the Latinx community in Hall County.
  94. Historic Westside Gardens ATL – $20,000 to address food insecurity and increase access to local, fresh, healthy food in the Westside of Atlanta.
  95. HomeStretch – $50,000 to provide transitional, supportive and rapid rehousing services to homeless families in the North Fulton area.
  96. Hope for Youth – $15,000 to deliver a safe after-school program for 100 girls.
  97. Hopebound Mental Health – $15,000 for mental health services provided to students and their families at Carver High School.
  98. House of Cherith – $30,000 for the residential recovery program for adult female survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation.
  99. House of Dawn – $15,000 to provide assistance through short-term housing services, emergency assistance and mental health/childcare supports.
  100. HouseProud Atlanta – $32,500 for seniors to ensure they stay in their homes and also provide access to needed home repairs.
  101. Housing Tonight – $10,000 to assist housing vulnerable populations with housing and supportive services in Atlanta, DeKalb and Clayton counties.
  102. Impact46 dba Lawrenceville Response Center – $50,000 to re-house or prevent homelessness for individuals and families in Gwinnett County.
  103. Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage and Disability – $10,000 to provide rental and utility assistance for older adults raising grandchildren with special needs.
  104. INROADS – $50,000 for INROADS College Links program in the Atlanta market.
  105. Inspiredu – $125,000 to address digital literacy and equitable technology access.
  106. Integrated Resources for Educating and Nurturing the Elderly – $12,500 for multi-generational services via the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program for Gwinnett and Walton counties.
  107. Interactive Neighborhood for Kids – $10,000 for hands on learning experiences in a safe environment for young learners and students in North Georgia.
  108. Intown Collaborative Ministries – $10,000 to address food insecurity in the City of Atlanta.
  109. Jeremiah’s Destiny – $3,000 for in-person, safe assistance to students in virtual learning.
  110. Jesus Set the Captive Free – $6,000 to provide housing assistance to men, primarily veterans, who are vulnerable to homelessness.
  111. Ke’nekt Cooperative – $38,000 to address food insecurity in Westview and West End neighborhoods.
  112. Kennesaw Dream Foundation – $10,000 for virtual tutoring program for middle and high school students.
  113. L&J Empowerment dba The Confess Project – $45,000 to train barbers and community organizers to become mental health advocates.
  114. LaAmistad – $60,000 for virtual tutoring for Latino students throughout the greater Atlanta region, including small group support and at home learning kits.
  115. Leap Year – $17,500 to for a two-generation model reading coach program that engages recent high school graduates to serve elementary students.
  116. Los Niños Primero (Children First) – $30,000 for continued distance learning educational and leadership programs and early learning opportunities for Latino families in Fulton county.
  117. Loving Arms Cancer Outreach – $8,000 to serve medically fragile, food insecure cancer patients.
  118. E.N.S. Wear (Making Employment the Next Step) – $25,000 for workforce development training aimed at providing expanded career pathways for frontline essential workers.
  119. Making A Way Housing – $30,000 to provide emergency, permanent supportive housing for people with chronic illness and disability.
  120. Marietta City Schools – $22,625 for technology needs, tutoring and mentoring to support vulnerable students and specifically students of color.
  121. Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation – $10,000 for community-based programing that supports college access and preparation for students at Maynard Jackson.
  122. Melanated Pearl Corporation – $25,000 for homeless prevention services for families led by women of color in Clayton County.
  123. Mental Fitness 21st Century Learning – $55,000 for technology and a virtual STEAM Literacy library to help students in specific underserved communities.
  124. Mental Health America of Georgia – $27,000 for the Mental Health Academy Training Program.
  125. Mercy Seed Resource Center – $8,000 to address food insecurity in Gwinnett County and metro Atlanta.
  126. Metamorphasis Powerhouse Company – $25,000 to fund public learning classrooms designed to equip students in pathways of success through project-learning activities in STEM, grade-level reading, career and college readiness in historically underserved communities.
  127. Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund – $25,000 to provide immediate financial assistance and mutual aid directly to their target population.
  128. Metro Atlanta Urban Farm (MAUF) – $55,000 for an Urban Farm and Community Garden site in College Park.
  129. Morehouse School of Medicine – $42,500 for mental health first-aid to support men of color in neighborhood barbershops within the 30314 zip code.
  130. Museum of Design/Atlanta – $15,000 to provide STEM education access free of charge during virtual learning.
  131. My Brothers Keepers Reaching Out dba I Care Atlanta – $27,000 to address food insecurity in DeKalb County.
  132. NAMI DeKalb – $5,000 to expand peer support services and educational classes for individuals, caregivers, and families in DeKalb County.
  133. Nana Grants – $20,000 for child care scholarships to children of mothers in post-secondary programs.
  134. National Coalition of 100 Black Women Stone Mountain Lithonia – $10,000 for tablets and other STEM related resources and programming for black women and girls.
  135. New American Pathways – $10,000 for targeted academic support and enrichment for refugee and immigrants students in DeKalb County.
  136. New Life Community Ministries – $38,000 to address food insecurity in South DeKalb.
  137. Next Generation Focus – $30,000 for a virtual platform that provides after school learning opportunities for students to address academic loss.
  138. Nobis Works dba Tommy Nobis Center – $10,000 for programming that addresses barriers to academic success for students with special needs and their families.
  139. Nothing but the Truth – $5,000 to provide “Weekend Food Bags” for families in Title I schools in Gwinnett County.
  140. nsoro Educational Foundation – $10,000 to assist youth aged out of foster care with housing instability.
  141. Odyssey Family Counseling Center – $20,000 for individual and group therapy, and psychiatric services for individuals/families living in south Fulton County.
  142. Odyssey, Atlanta – $10,000 to provide year round access to tutors and mentors to mitigate learning loss.
  143. Our House – $75,000 to provide homeless shelter students access to high quality early learning, in person learning supports, as well as devices and WiFii/hotspot connectivity.
  144. Paradise Atlanta Westside Enrichment Center (PAWKids) – $13,000 to address food insecurity in Northwest Atlanta.
  145. PARENTS PROSPER (Formerly Parent Avengers) – $15,000 to connect with other parents that require assistance to maintain their housing in Vine City/English Ave.
  146. Partners in Action for Healthy Living – $43,000 to address food insecurity in South DeKalb and the metro Atlanta region.
  147. Phenomenal Women’s Health – $5,000 for comprehensive health services for high risk youth and uninsured/underinsured women.
  148. Place of Hope Clinic – $50,000 for the establishment of a mobile health unit to provide services in communities served.
  149. Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church – $6,000 to address food insecurity in Cobb County.
  150. Poetic Services – $10,000 for Learning Pods in underserved communities, ensuring students have access to devices, WiFi and staff to assist with homework needs.
  151. Presencia – $10,000 for in-person tutoring programs for struggling readers in a safe and monitored environment.
  152. Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale – $20,000 for safe and supportive learning environments for children in Rockdale and Newton Counties with access to tutoring and weekly home visits with families to address barriers to virtual learning at home.
  153. Project South – $50,000 for advocacy and mobilization of student and young adult voices in response to education needs during the pandemic, and laptops, hotspots for students and young adults and an education space for students in South Atlanta to access virtual
  154. Quality Care for Children – $75,000 to ensure training, technical assistance and necessary supplies for regional early learning providers and the provision of stabilization grants and parent access scholarships.
  155. R2ISE – $20,000 for art therapy programs addressing behavioral health challenges as a result of racial trauma.
  156. Rainbow House – $20,000 for emergency sheltering for children during the day as they access virtual learning opportunities.
  157. Rainbow Park Baptist Church – $25,000 to address food insecurity through a food pantry in South DeKalb County.
  158. Rainbow Village – $30,000 for mental health and integrated health services for residents living in the community.
  159. Raising Expectations – $100,000 to provide targeted virtual support for students in the City of Atlanta and in-person support for targeted students who were falling behind based on school district data.
  160. Raksha – $50,000 to provide housing assistance and utility assistance in addition to other supportive services regionally to the South Asian community that are victims of family violence throughout the region.
  161. re:imagine/ATL – $50,000 to acquire additional equipment and access to technology to serve more students.
  162. Reaping the Harvest Outreach Ministries International – $10,000 to fund a food pantry that serves Henry, South Fulton, Clayton and Butts County communities.
  163. Rebuilding Together-Atlanta – $5,000 to provide home repairs and maintenance to ensure low-income seniors stay in their home and maintain home ownership.
  164. Reflections of Trinity – $25,000 to address food insecurity in Cobb, Fulton and Paulding Counties.
  165. Refugee Women’s Network – $50,000 to assist refugee women with homeless prevention and housing protection services.
  166. Rhema Housing – $40,000 to provide rapid re-housing, emergency support and homeless diversion services for ex-offenders, veterans and those with disabilities
  167. Ryan Cameron Foundation (RCF) – $17,500 for technology for students, self-care sessions for teachers and PPE supplies.
  168. E.E.K. Foundation – $22,000 for hands-on learning for students in grades 7 to 11 on the Westside of Atlanta, including laptops, drones, coding software and WiFi.
  169. H.A.R.E. House – $25,000 to prevent homelessness and keep mothers and their children housed and safe in Douglas and Paulding Counties.
  170. Saint Philip Child Development Center – $50,000 to provide safe care and high quality learning experiences to children aged two to five in families with parents who must return to work.
  171. Saint Philip Community Development Corporation – $25,000 to address food insecurity in South DeKalb.
  172. Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link – $12,000 to fund STEM programming, which has been the hardest content area to pivot during this virtual COVID-19 period.
  173. Scottdale Early Learning – $50,000 to provide care for school-age children of staff that are attending school virtually.
  174. Second Helpings Atlanta – $25,000 to address food insecurity in metro Atlanta.
  175. Self-Discovery: Pain, Positioning & Purpose – $10,000 for virtual trainings for youth and young adults aimed at reducing bullying and suicide.
  176. Sheltering Arms – $150,000 to provide quality learning opportunities and address learning loss for children of vulnerable families during the pandemic by providing critical childcare resources that enable parents to return to work or maintain employment.
  177. Shine Community – $50,000 to expand programs and implement new trauma-informed services.
  178. Showcase Group – $35,500 for behavioral health services and training for youth and families returning from the juvenile justice system.
  179. Sisu of Georgia – $50,000 for access to subsidized high-quality early learning opportunities and therapy for children with special needs in families who must work outside the home.
  180. SKIP Georgia Chapter – $30,000 to fund high-quality learning opportunities to prevent academic deficiency and failure among the middle and high school grade level students who are disadvantaged due to absentee parents who are incarcerated, detached or unavailable because they work multiple jobs.
  181. Smart Foundation – $10,000 for computers, laptops or tablets for low-income students who don’t have access.
  182. South DeKalb Improvement Association Education – $17,000 for virtual tutoring services for students in kindergarten through fifth grade in South DeKalb.
  183. STAR House Foundation – $10,000 for virtual one-on-one and small group tutoring to students in Fulton County.
  184. State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia – $150,000 for technology and/or internet access for approximately 1,000 students and for remote tutoring services to support the most vulnerable students.
  185. Still Waters Learning Center – $25,000 for a mobile outreach tutoring program within apartment complexes to address learning loss and struggling learners.
  186. STRIVE Atlanta – $83,187 for hardware and tech support for STRIVE students – 50% of the current cohort indicated a need for technology support, as did 32% of alumni in the Atlanta database.
  187. Study Hall – $15,000 for daily online tutoring programs for students at Dunbar Elementary as identified by school staff.
  188. Sugarloaf Korean Baptist Church – $25,000 to address food insecurity in Gwinnett County.
  189. Supreme Family Foundation – $58,000 for provision of frozen and shelf-stable meals for seniors in metro Atlanta.
  190. Teach “O” Rea Preparatory Preschool Incorporated – $21,000 for high-quality early learning experiences and academic after-school support for economically disadvantaged students in Clarkston and Stone Mountain.
  191. TechBridge – $16,500 for learning pods for the most vulnerable students and after-school, project-based STEAM programs.
  192. Toco Hills Community Alliance – $12,000 to address food insecurity in DeKalb County
  193. Together Friends Organization – $8,000 to fund middle school math programming in Clayton County.
  194. Tri-Cities Church – $3,000 to address food insecurity in College Park, East Point and Hapeville.
  195. Trinity Outreach International – $32,000 to work with schools, particularly those that have been designated as Title 1 schools, to address food insecurity.
  196. Truancy Intervention Project Georgia – $10,000 for trained volunteers working directly with students at Dunbar Elementary to address attendance challenges to virtual learning.
  197. Ubuntu 4 Youth – $5,000 to build home libraries and a book club for English as a Second Language students during virtual learning.
  198. Vision 21 Concepts – $40,000 to provide housing to vulnerable populations in Douglasville (youth, ex-offenders, ppl w/disabilities) with housing options and services that support self-sufficiency.
  199. Vision Tutoring Educational Foundation – $25,000 to fund tutoring programming that addresses learning loss for students of vulnerable families.
  200. VISIONful Communities – $12,500 for arts-based healing focused on racial trauma.
  201. Voices for Georgia’s Children – $20,000 to grow the capacity of youth-serving professionals and organizations, and advocacy efforts to expand access to youth services.
  202. We Love BuHi – $13,000 to address food insecurity along the Buford Highway corridor.
  203. West Atlanta Community Outreach – $30,000 for childcare support for frontline works and continued internet services for families who need a safe space.
  204. West End Family Life and Community Center – $15,000 to address food insecurity in the West End and surrounding neighborhoods.
  205. West Georgia Missions – $5,000 to offer housing stabilization to individuals in arrears or that are homeless in West Georgia.
  206. Wholesome Wave Georgia – $58,000 for addressing food insecurity and increasing access to fresh, local, healthy foods in our region.
  207. Women Are Dreamers Too – $37,675 for virtual STEM educational content.
  208. Wylde Center – $10,000 for virtual programing and curriculum enhancements, providing hands on learning and at-home kits for STEM aligned lessons.
  209. YMCA of Metro Atlanta – $200,000 to continue providing 1) Campus Connections, 2) out-of-school programming to reach low-income students of working families and 3) trauma-informed care so staff members and counselors can better serve their students.
  210. Young Entrepreneurs of Atlanta Foundation – $29,000 for student access to entrepreneurial skills via livestream and self pace learning guided by community experts.
  211. Young Stars of America – $25,000 for laptops, internet connectivity and space for safe learning pods.
  212. youthSpark – $35,000 for behavioral health services, mental health training, and advocacy for children affected by sex trafficking.
  213. Zaban Paradies Center – $10,000 for mental health services for families experiencing homelessness.
  214. Zion Hill Community Development Corporation – $50,000 for rapid re-housing and emergency assistance in South Fulton.

About United Way of Greater Atlanta

United Way of Greater Atlanta, the largest United Way in the nation, focuses on ensuring that every child in Atlanta has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. The organization invests in more than 200 programs in 13 counties through the Child Well-Being Impact Fund and works to help children succeed in school, improve financial stability of families, provide affordable and accessible healthcare and end homelessness. For more information, visit: unitedwayatlanta.org or Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Media Contacts:

For United Way United Way of Greater Atlanta

Chad Parker, 404.358.5055

cparker@unitedwayatlanta.org

Have you ever stopped to watch a tree swaying with a breeze?

Imagine sitting in your favorite park or looking out your window at a tree whose limbs spread wide reaching out 20 or 30 feet, with branches reaching two, maybe three stories toward the sky. With leaves that are starting to turn golden with the onset of fall, the tree is healthy. But what if instead of stretching far and wide on both sides, there were a set of broken branches? Or what if the leaves in the middle section were shriveling and turning brown?

What if there were signs of decay or damage not only to that one tree but to several other trees in different parts of the park?

When we think about our community, we can think of it like a forest of trees. Some trees represent our health system, some represent our education system, our housing system, financial system and so on. On the surface, the trees don’t seem connected, but what if there was the same problem with several trees?

We would need to look beneath the surface, examine the roots and its groundwater.

For too long in Greater Atlanta and across our country, systems we interact with every day have been trying to fix or help one tree at a time. But the problem is in the groundwater. What should provide essential nutrition and make a system strong has been tainted by systemic racism.

Similar to a forest of trees, a community thrives only from the ground up.

Our challenge is that across the Greater Atlanta region there are too many trees that are not thriving — where the branches and leaves have been fractured by serious storms and weakened at the roots because there was poison in the groundwater.

Groundwater represents the unseen ideologies that feed policies and investments—the roots of our communities. When the groundwater is poisoned, the roots feed that poison into our community through disregard and disinvestment for Black and Brown communities, embedding racial inequities in health, education and economic systems. As these policies “branch” out, our community becomes fragile and unable to weather the next unprecedented storm.

To have the thriving community we all aspire to, we must end systemic racism. We must invest in solutions that look to address the root causes of the problem. In other words: For groundwater problems, we need groundwater solutions.

United Way of Greater Atlanta launched its Child Well-Being efforts in 2017 in hopes of addressing these disparities. But the problems did not start then. To United Way of Greater Atlanta and many of our partner nonprofits across the metropolitan area, the data about racial disparities in health, education, housing and income is not new. What is new is the way we are looking at the connections across those issues.

With a groundwater approach, we see that the problem is not in the struggling students, the overworked parents, the uninsured neighbors. Instead, we see that the way institutions are set up and the policies in place prevent resources from flowing where they are needed most. We see that socio-economic difference does not explain the racial inequities that exist. We see that systems and representatives of those systems treat people differently based on race.

Decades of disinvestment has created instability, limited the opportunity of children and locked Black and Brown communities out of economic prosperity, and these policies have made the branches of Greater Atlanta weaker.

Acknowledging this reality is necessary, but not the end of our journey. We are on an equity journey. Today in the midst of so much turmoil and tragedy we have found information, insights and partners that renew our hope that this community can close the racial divides and strengthen the roots of our community.

By reading publications like Groundwater Approach by the Racial Equity Institute, attending trainings with the National Equity Project, listening to leaders at Partnership for Southern Equity, Annie E. Casey Foundation, TransFormation Alliance, and partnering with organizations like the Housing Justice League and New Georgia Project, to name a few, we call attention to the change needed to create a more inclusive Greater Atlanta.

When United Way announced the United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund in July 2020 to tackle the systemic issues underlying the correlation between race and zip codes, place and equity we knew that others would join taking on this challenge. We knew that it was time to unite and heal together.

“The correlation between race, zip codes and its effect on child well-being makes it critical for United Way to address place and racial equity strategically,” Katrina D. Mitchell, Chief Community Impact Officer at United Way of Greater Atlanta, said previously. “The decisions and actions we make today will significantly shape the future.”

And those actions, Mitchell says, are to invest in structural solutions that create effective, long-lasting change and address the root causes of racial inequity. To address these causes, we must invest in civic engagement, leadership and capacity building and education and awareness.

“The establishment of the United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund adds significant momentum towards the realization of a more just and inclusive Greater Atlanta,” Nathaniel Smith, Founder and Chief Equity Officer for the Partnership for Southern Equity, said in a previous report.

Smith encouraged others to participate in civic leadership, adding that “the journey towards racial equity for current and future generations is a difficult path to follow.” But it’s a necessary path to follow.

Help United Way create a more just, equitable and inclusive Greater Atlanta. Donate today to the United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund.

Right now, thousands of families across the City of Atlanta are at risk of eviction or homelessness due to COVID-19-related financial hardship. But there’s hope. Get help today through the Atlanta Emergency Housing Assistance Program. To check your eligibility or to apply for funds online, click here. You must be a resident of the City of Atlanta.

Interested in applying with the help of an on-site expert? We are holding outreach events at United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Loudermilk Center. Below are dates and times. The Loudermilk Center is located at 40 Courtland Street NE, Atlanta, 30303.

**United Way of Greater Atlanta follows CDC guidelines  – requiring masks, social distancing and hand sanitizing – to ensure that we keep everyone safe.

 

  • 12/1/2020 – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • 12/3/2020 – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • 12/5/2020 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  
  • 12/8/2020 – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • 12/10/2020 – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • 12/12/2020 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • 12/15/2020 – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • 12/17/2020 – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

For a list of eligibility requirements, click here. You must be a resident of the City of Atlanta.

ATLANTA – September 30, 2020 – The Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a joint effort from Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, today announces an open application process for nonprofit organizations to receive grant funding for pandemic response efforts. The Fund plans to issue $5.5 million in grants in the next 30 to 60 days, in addition to $18.4 million distributed to date.

Application eligibility requirements and materials are posted on United Way’s website via this link. Applications must be completed by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 9 and funding decisions will be announced on a rolling basis beginning mid-October, with updates on timing of additional grant announcements posted on the Community Foundation’s website here.

Grants will focus on nonprofits that address four priority areas of need: education, food security, housing and mental health. Further, the Fund actively seeks applications from organizations founded and/or led by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and organizations with annual budgets under $2 million that are responding to local needs. Applications should detail how nonprofits have served constituents during the pandemic, as well as each organization’s plans for how funding would be used in the next 90 days.

“We launched the COVID-19 Fund in mid-March when the significant challenges brought on by COVID-19 were just being felt in our region,” said Frank Fernandez, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “Our initial response was triage, directing funds to organizations that could scale a large response to critical needs such as food and childcare with broad geographic reach. We recognize that the region is still challenged and smaller nonprofits, especially, are well-positioned to serve harder-to-reach individuals and families in underserved communities.”

“Our grantmaking has been informed by a digital listening tool that revealed broad community needs, as well as through meetings with diverse nonprofit leaders representing Black, Latinx and other constituencies,” said Milton J. Little, Jr., president and CEO of United Way of Greater Atlanta. “Racial equity lies at the core of our collective work. We know that our Black neighbors have been harder hit by the pandemic and that we must continue to support nonprofits working directly in these communities.”

Representing a combined 185 years of serving our region, both United Way and the Community Foundation are committed to an equity agenda to support the emergence of a Greater Atlanta where every child, family and community has the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, school buildings closed down, businesses temporarily closed, arts and cultural performances shuttered and workers were laid off. When faced with these economic, health and social crises, the institutions partnered on a swift and significant financial response that continues with this additional funding.

Initial grants from the Fund were determined by a volunteer advisory committee and were focused on providing crucial services to high-risk audiences including seniors, families with children who normally receive free or reduced meals at school, front line workers and other families in need of childcare, homeowners and renters at risk for eviction and hourly/low-wage workers. As the pandemic continued to impact our region, funding priorities expanded  to respond to additional identified needs, feedback through the digital listening tool and outreach to area nonprofits. Subsequent grants focused on getting technology and connectivity to students across the region to enable distance learning, while further funding addressed emergency financial assistance for rent and utilities to keep people in their homes.

More than $18.4 million has been awarded from the Fund to more than 320 nonprofits in the region and are detailed on both the Community Foundation’s website and United Way’s website. A comprehensive timeline of the Fund that details how the Fund launched and evolved as funding priorities shifted for ongoing pandemic response can be found here.

The Fund was announced March 17 with Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta committing $1 million and United Way of Greater Atlanta contributing $500,000 to seed the Fund. As of today, commitments have been secured from The Coca-Cola Company and Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, each donating $5 million to the Fund in support. Other current funders include, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, The Goizueta Foundation, The Klump Family Foundation and Truist Foundation. A complete list of corporate, foundation and individual donors to the Fund can be found here.

Individuals and families impacted and in need of support can contact United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2-1-1 Contact Center. Due to high call volumes, texting is the quickest way to get in touch with United Way 2-1-1. Text 211od to 898-211 to get a list of resources by zip code. The 2-1-1 database is another quick way to find resources during this time of increased call volume. 2-1-1 is a valuable resource that is available 24-hours and 7 days-a-week.

Individuals who wish to contribute to supporting our region’s neighbors who need help  can donate to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund here. The Community Foundation will continue to update details for donors and nonprofits through its blog and via social media via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. To view updates from United Way of Greater Atlanta, click here or follow on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been leading and inspiring philanthropy to increase the vitality of our region and the well-being of all residents. With nearly 70 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation expands its philanthropic reach and impact by providing quality services to donors and bold, innovative community leadership. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation among 750 nationally, with approximately $1.2 billion in current assets, and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. For more information, visit: cfgreateratlanta.org or connect with the Foundation on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About United Way of Greater Atlanta

United Way of Greater Atlanta, the largest United Way in the nation, focuses on ensuring that every child in Atlanta has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. The organization invests in more than 200 programs in 13 counties through the Child Well-Being Impact Fund and works to help children succeed in school, improve financial stability of families, provide affordable and accessible healthcare and end homelessness. For more information, visit: unitedwayatlanta.org or Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Media Contacts:

For United Way United Way of Greater Atlanta

Chad Parker, 404.358.5055

cparker@unitedwayatlanta.org

A man had his hours cut at work—from eight hours a day down to three—because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, his employer told him that they would have to let him go. There was only one thought on his mind, though: how was he going to pay for his rent and take care of his family?

He says a friend told him to reach out to Inspiritus because they were assisting people who had also lost their job.

“When I called Inspiritus to ask for help, I got one month rent for my home,” he says. “I was under stress financially and mentally. The one-month rent assistance gives me so much support because I know everyone is desperately in need.”

There are many in Greater Atlanta who are “desperately in need” right now. Inspiritus is a nonprofit organization focused on guiding people who have “experienced disruption” back on the path from simply surviving to a position where they can thrive.

Calling the pandemic outbreak of the novel coronavirus a “disruption” is an extreme understatement.

About two weeks into March, major cities across the country began shutting down businesses, restaurants, gyms and schools in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus. As of Aug. 24, COVID-19, which is a respiratory illness with symptoms such as cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, has infected more than 5.6 million people nationwide and killed more than 176,000.

This is more than just a health crisis. There are families in Greater Atlanta who are feeling the economic impact, too.

“The families that COVID has disproportionately hit have been the low-income families and people of color,” says Sarah Burke, Development Associate for Inspiritus.

Inspiritus provides services to a large refugee and immigrant population. They provide financial advisement, disability services, disaster relief and they also have a career center to help connect clients to employment. Inspiritus delivers basic needs, safety, community integration and self-sufficiency programs and services to help individuals and families achieve a “thriving life.”

Things have changed in the past six months, though. They have also been connecting families with food banks and making sure children and their parents are receiving EBT relief, Burke says.

“We want to make sure parents know what resources are available to them, their rights and that they have a strong liaison to the community between the resources and their family,” Burke says.

But many of the requests for help have come in the form of rental assistance, Burke says. Many people who apply for help have lost their jobs because of COVID-19, they’ve been furloughed or laid off or have had to take up to two weeks off because of exposure to the virus and have missed a paycheck.

“We have teams that can help them find jobs,” Burke says. “For many, this is one-time relief and the goal is that they can return to work if they’ve had COVID or, if they’ve lost their job, they can come to our staff and find a new job. They need to make sure they don’t fall behind on rent because of an interruption in their employment or income, and they need to make sure they aren’t evicted because of COVID.”

According to the Aspen Institute, if current conditions do not change, 29-45 percent of renter households in Georgia could be at risk of eviction by the end of the year.

Organizations like Inspiritus are crucial, but so is the funding it takes to provide these services.

Inspiritus was one of the most recent recipients of grant funds made possible through the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a joint effort from United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

On Aug. 11, United Way and Community Foundation announced the seventh round of grants for the COVID-19 response. Inspiritus received $100,000 to meet the increased demand for financial assistance in its multi-county area.

The seventh round of grants totaled roughly $1.13 million and targeted emergency financial assistance for housing-related costs. The grants went to 10 organizations in response to the region’s needs resulting from COVID-19.

Inspiritus has been a longstanding partner with United Way prior to COVID-19 and has supported the organization’s work with children and families and its refugee and immigrants services — you can learn more about Inspiritus and their work at www.weinspirit.org.

The past few months have been difficult, but Burke says it has shown how strong Inspiritus’ team is and just how important collaborations with organizations like United Way and Community Foundation can be.

She says the staff miss having that firsthand, heart-to-heart connection with those families they help.

“It’s hard—hard is not even the right word,” she says. “It’s had a strong, emotional impact on our staff and the clients to not be able to sit with them, but our leadership team has done a phenomenal job of trying to improve morale.

“Our team is incredible, they work so hard and care so strongly about the people that they are serving.”

To help those in need, donate to the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. If you would like to empower communities of color in Greater Atlanta impacted by decades of systemic barriers and disinvestment, donate to the United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund.

You can also ensure that all children in Greater Atlanta have access to the same resources and opportunities by donating to the Child Well-Being Impact Fund.

ATLANTA – Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the City of Atlanta has allocated $22 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to the Atlanta COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program to provide housing support to Atlantans. Administered by United Way of Greater Atlanta, the program will provide rental, utility, and/or security deposit assistance to more than 6,700 City of Atlanta residents through a network of local service providers, who were selected through a Request for Proposal process.

City of Atlanta residential renters who have experienced a loss of income because of COVID-19 will be able to receive assistance with the payment of their past due rent, utility, and/or security deposit assistance at a maximum household limit of $3,000.

“Access to safe, affordable and livable housing is one of our Administration’s top priorities,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Beyond the pressing challenges of COVID-19, we aim to ensure that every resident who wants to live in Atlanta is able to do so with dignity. Thank you to United Way of Greater Atlanta for being a partner in providing housing stability to residents as we navigate this now normal.”

Housing instability has been a problem for low-income residents in the City of Atlanta long before the COVID-19 pandemic reached the City of Atlanta. The pandemic has intensified this experience for Atlanta residents, increasing the risk for foreclosure, eviction, and homelessness.

United Way of Greater Atlanta, the largest United Way in the nation, focuses on ensuring that every child in Greater Atlanta has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

“As many as 16,000 households in the City of Atlanta make under $50,000 a year and are employed in occupations that are at high risk of layoffs from COVID,” says Milton J. Little, Jr., President, and CEO of United Way of Greater Atlanta. “Through our partnership with the City of Atlanta on the Atlanta COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, we will be able to provide relief to families with children, lower-income earning households, and other vulnerable populations.”

Individuals and families impacted and in need of support will have multiple access points to apply for assistance in both English and Spanish.

To apply for assistance and view eligibility requirements and FAQs, options include:

  • Access the client application by visiting www.unitedwayatlanta.org or by clicking here.
  • Text the keyword C19-ERA to 898-211 to be directed to the application page.
  • Visit http://211online.unitedwayatlanta.org/
  • Call 2-1-1 to speak with a live 2-1-1 Community Connection Specialist Hours are limited from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Due to high call volumes, the above-listed options are preferred.

David was experiencing shortness of breath.

As an undocumented American, he was afraid to leave for the hospital and afraid to leave his family alone—so he called the Latino Community Fund of Georgia.

He was desperate, and he thought this could be one of the last phone calls he ever made. He needed it to count.

His eight family members, all undocumented, were living in an apartment together. David wanted to make sure his family was supported and taken care of in case he died.

A representative with the Latino Community Fund reached out to the Grady Health System for a health professional who specializes in assisting undocumented clients like David. Over the course of two conversations, the health professional encouraged David to seek treatment. David survived his bout with the coronavirus, but he had been left with an $81,000 bill.

Now, the Latino Community Fund is working with him to understand and negotiate his expenses and help as he and his family move on from this.

The Latino Community Fund was one of the most recent recipients of grant funds made possible through the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a joint effort from United Way of Greater Atlanta and Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

On Aug. 11, United Way and Community Foundation announced the seventh round of grants for the COVID-19 response. Latino Community Fund received $200,000 to provide emergency financial assistance for Latinx communities throughout Greater Atlanta.

The seventh round of grants totaled roughly $1.13 million and targeted emergency financial assistance for housing-related costs. The grants went to 10 organizations in response to the region’s needs as a result of COVID-19.

About two weeks into March, major cities across the country began shutting down restaurants, bars, gyms and schools in an attempt to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. As of Aug. 13, COVID-19, which is a respiratory illness with symptoms such as cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, has infected more than 5 million people nationwide and killed more than 165,000.

This seventh round of grant funding from United Way and Community Foundation allows organizations to provide emergency financial assistance in response to this crisis for a period of up to four and a half months.

Nine of the grants provided emergency financial assistance and legal support to combat evictions for some of our most vulnerable, low-income populations — undocumented and immigrant families with children, families who may face threats from domestic violence, families who live in extended stay motels and families without formal leases.

David’s employer has not hired him back, and he currently has no job to provide for his family. There are many other stories like his around Greater Atlanta.

To help those in need, donate to the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. If you would like to empower communities of color in Greater Atlanta impacted by decades of systemic barriers and disinvestment, donate to the United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund.

You can also ensure that all children in Greater Atlanta have access to the same resources and opportunities by donating to the Child Well-Being Impact Fund.

ATLANTA – August 11, 2020 – The Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a joint effort from Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, today announces the Fund’s seventh round of grants targeted to emergency financial assistance for housing-related costs. To date, the Fund has raised more than $25 million through collective resources. Since the Fund was announced in March, the two organizations have together identified the areas of greatest need and the most vulnerable populations to determine where to deliver funds.

This seventh round of grants total $1.125 million and will be distributed to 10 organizations in response to the region’s needs as a result of COVID-19. A grand total of more than $18.425 million from the Fund has been mobilized to benefit 321 nonprofits thus far. A full listing of today’s grants is detailed below. These, as well as those made in the earlier rounds, are listed on both the Community Foundation’s website and United Way’s website.

Individuals who wish to contribute to supporting our region’s nonprofits can donate to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund here. Support funds will be released on a rolling basis throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis.

The seventh round of grants will allow the grantee organizations to provide funding for emergency financial (rent and utilities) assistance in response to the COVID-19 crisis for a period of up to 4.5 months. Research indicated that each of the organizations has the ability to meet high demand for emergency financial assistance and strong track record of effectively serving the most vulnerable people in our region across a wide geographic scope. Nine of the grants will provide emergency financial assistance and legal support to combat evictions for some of our most vulnerable, low-income populations. These populations include undocumented and immigrant families with children, families who face threats from domestic violence, families who live in extended stay motels and families without formal leases.  The 10th grant will expand COVID-19 testing in low-income and high-risk communities.

According to the Aspen Institute, multiple studies have quantified the effect of COVID-19-related job loss and economic hardship on renters’ ability to pay rent during the pandemic. While methodologies differ, these analyses converge on a dire prediction: If conditions do not change, 29-45% of renter households in Georgia could be at risk of eviction by the end of the year.1

Steps for applying for the next round of grants will be released on September 1. In order to respond to the quickly shifting needs of our community, the Fund is committed to funding emergent needs through additional rounds of funding as well. Details will be posted here.

Today’s grant recipients and grant amounts are:

Georgia ACT (Advancing Communities Together) – $75,000 to provide emergency financial assistance and eviction relief in its multi-county service area.

Georgia Legal Services Program – $100,000 to support and meet the increased demand for emergency financial assistance, eviction filings and legal representation in the region.

Inspiritus (formerly Lutheran Services of Georgia) – $100,000 to meet the increased demand for emergency financial assistance in its multi-county service area.

Latin American Association – $150,000 to meet the increased demand for emergency financial assistance in its service area.

Latino Community Fund – $200,000 to provide emergency financial assistance for Latinx communities throughout Greater Atlanta in partnership with grassroots Latinx organizations.

St. Vincent DePaul Georgia – $100,000 to meet the increased demand for emergency financial assistance in the region.

Ser Familia – $150,000 to meet the increased demand for emergency financial assistance.

Single Parent Alliance and Resource Center (SPARC) – $100,000 to meet the increased demand for emergency financial assistance and rehousing services.

Star C – $100,000 to support emergency financial assistance, housing and eviction relief.

United 2 Live – $50,000 to provide increased testing and testing support services to meet the needs of hard to reach populations in low-income communities.

The Fund was announced March 17 with Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta committing $1 million and United Way of Greater Atlanta contributing $500,000 to seed the Fund. Significant contributions to the fund have come from organizations including the Coca-Cola Company, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, each donating $5 million to the Fund in support. Other current funders include the City of Atlanta, The Goizueta Foundation, The Klump Family Foundation and Truist Foundation, contributing $1 million each. A complete list of corporate, foundation and individual donors that gave $25,000 or more to the Fund can be found here.

Individuals and families impacted and in need of support can contact United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2-1-1 Contact Center. Due to high call volumes, texting is the quickest way to get in touch with United Way 2-1-1. Text “211od” to 898-211 to get a list of resources by zip code. The 2-1-1 database is another quick way to find resources during this time of increased call volume. 2-1-1 is a valuable resource that is available 24-hours and 7 days-a-week.

The Community Foundation will continue to update details for donors and nonprofits through its blog and via social media via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. To view updates from United Way of Greater Atlanta, click here or follow on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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1https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/the-covid-19-eviction-crisis-an-estimated-30-40-million-people-in-america-are-at-risk/

 

About United Way of Greater Atlanta

United Way of Greater Atlanta, the largest United Way chapter in the nation, focuses on ensuring that every child in Atlanta has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. The organization invests in more than 200 programs in 13 counties through the Child Well-Being Impact Fund and works to help children succeed in school, improve financial stability of families, provide affordable and accessible healthcare and end homelessness. For more information, visit: unitedwayatlanta.org or Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

 

About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been leading and inspiring philanthropy to increase the vitality of our region and the well-being of all residents. With nearly 70 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation expands its philanthropic reach and impact by providing quality services to donors and bold, innovative community leadership. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation among 750 nationally, with approximately $1.2 billion in current assets, and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. For more information, visit: cfgreateratlanta.org or connect with the Foundation via Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter.