Year-end is a great time to review important financial plans and documents. There are many tax changes being proposed now that may be in effect next year.

  • Review your projected income (including gains), deductions, and credits for this year and next and consider whether you can time your income, deductions, and credits in a way that minimizes your income taxes.
  • Review your will, trusts and plans. Ensure that you are still comfortable with your bequests and dispositions, executors, trustees, and guardians. Additionally:
    • Review the agents named under your financial and medical powers of attorney to ensure that they are still appropriate.
    • Review living wills and verify that you are comfortable with the healthcare and end-of-life-related instructions that you previously made.
    • It’s also important to communicate the location and intention of your estate planning documents with the appropriate individuals.
  • Check your beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts and life insurance policies to ensure they reflect your wishes.
  • Maximize your IRA contributions (You can make 2021 contributions to traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs until April 15, 2022. Check contribution limit amounts.)
  • Take your required distributions (RMDs) from your IRAs (generally 72 yrs.) and make any Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs).

Charitable Giving

  • Make year-end gifts to charities, Donor Advised Funds or Private Foundations.
  • Consider if assets are an option to donate (QCDs, stocks, real estate, etc.) before December 31, 2021.

Please check with your tax professional for guidance on best actions for your life circumstances.

To learn more about how your gifts can make a lasting impact at United Way of Greater Atlanta, contact Eve Powell at epowell@unitedwayatlanta.org.

“Myself and my kids are so grateful to you all. You really reached out to us when we needed it the most.” – Emergency Housing Assistance Program funding recipient Jallow Hadijjatou

Like so many City of Atlanta residents, Jallow Hadijjatou lost her job at the start of pandemic. A single mother and im

migrant, the stress of caring for her family without a job quickly set in. According to the US Census Bureau, there are approximately 13.6 million single parents in the U.S., raising 22.4 million children. And eighty percent of those single parents are moms like Jallow.

The strain the pandemic has put on single mothers is heartbreaking. According to the University of Oregon study Home Alone: The Pandemic Is Overloading Single-parent Families, researchers note the impact of COVID-19 is more distressing for single parent families than other types of households.

While unemployed, Jallow, like most parents during the pandemic, became an at-home teacher’s assistant, helping her children navigate remote learning. When school was done for the day, she tried to keep them busy – all while dealing with the worry of affording rent and utilities. As lockdown stretched on, Jallow continued to search high and low for a job, but rent payments were a continuous struggle and were piling up. According to the Federal Reserve of Atlanta’s one-year study of the pandemic, more than 60 thousand evictions were filed. That number has now grown.

After hearing about rental assistance programs, Jallow decided to shift her focus on the short term. Through the Emergency Housing Assistance Program and United Way of Greater Atlanta’s partner, Housing Plus, Jallow connected to a case manager who listened to her experiences and provided personalized care and rental assistance. Jallow and her children were able to stay in their apartment, and focus on school in a stable home environment.

United Way of Greater Atlanta and the City of Atlanta recently announced that the Emergency Housing Assistance Program re-opened October 4th to distribute an additional $12M in Department of Treasury funding received through the United States Treasury. The current Emergency Housing Assistance Program – totaling $15.2M in federal funds – is on track to distribute the entire amount by mid-October. Since August 2020, through both the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and the US Treasury, the Emergency Rental Assistance program has helped more than 7,800 individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic stay in their homes.

According to the NY Times, about 89 percent of rental assistance funds have not been distributed nationally,” says Milton J. Little, Jr. President and CEO of United Way of Greater Atlanta. “We’re proud to say that we are on track to spend the full amount of previous American Rescue Plan Act dollars. Now, with the additional funding, we hope to help an additional 2,000 families.”

Since August 2020, United Way of Greater Atlanta has partnered with the City of Atlanta, Curry Davis Consulting Group, and agency partners on the Emergency Housing Assistance Program. Having a roof over your head and having a stable place to call home is foundational to United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Child Well-Being mission. Families that have been evicted or face eviction deal with a number of factors including keeping children in school, maintaining stable employment and protecting their health. According to Bloomberg News, “Evictions touch households beyond just those who receive an order to vacate. People who get evicted from their homes tend to double up, moving in with friends or family, or going to shelters. These outcomes make for more crowded households, increasing the points of contact between a home and the outside world, and creating more exposure opportunity for someone who hasn’t gotten the vaccine.” That’s why United Way of Greater Atlanta joined the City of Atlanta to help get federal funding out as quickly as possible to people most in need through the Atlanta COVID-19 Emergency Housing Assistance Program.

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 dating back to March 13, 2020 with an average payment of $3,000 per household. Due to new federal guidelines, mortgage assistance is not available.

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.
  • 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.

Previously published on SaportaReport.com.

On Friday, August 13, the culmination of a monumental community effort came to life with the dedication of Gwinnett County’s first and only homeless shelter, The Resting Spot. After many years of planning, United Way of Greater Atlanta’s HomeFirst Gwinnett initiative gathered community leaders and government officials for an official ribbon cutting to commemorate the occasion and celebrate a vision realized.

The $1 million, 20-bed facility located in Norcross will house women and their children and includes a library, computer lab, dining area and landscaped courtyard for guests to use up to 90 days. Government funding along with monetary and in-kind donations from corporate partners made the shelter’s opening possible. “We are happy to finally be in position to provide women and their children a temporary place to rest and regroup while they work to secure transitional housing,” said The Resting Spot Shelter Director, Brandee Thomas. “From job training to mental health services, we are aligned with community partners who can assist families with making the transition from the shelter to stable housing.”

At the ribbon cutting, Chad Dillard, Chief Development Officer of United Way of Greater Atlanta, recognized many instrumental community leaders and organizations like the Primerica Foundation, Gwinnett County Government, and former Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman, Charlotte Nash. He also acknowledged Pat McDonough, community advocate and long-time United Way of Greater Atlanta volunteer, who championed the mission and led community stakeholders to embrace the hard task of finding the resources and partnerships to see the shelter across the finish line. “United Way of Greater Atlanta is extremely grateful for these community partners and for leaders like Pat McDonough who became the ultimate champion, connector, visionary, driver and everything else we needed to ensure The Resting Spot came to fruition,” said Chad. “United Way is grateful for your leadership.”

Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman and United Way volunteer, Nicole Love Hendrickson, discussed the complexities of homelessness citing the statistic that an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people experience homelessness in Gwinnett. “In 2017, the average age of a homeless person in Gwinnett was just 6 years old,” said Hendrickson. “Homelessness is a complex and tragic problem that has only worsened during the pandemic, and Gwinnett County is fortunate to have a partner like HomeFirst Gwinnett on the front lines addressing this issue.”

On Tuesday, August 17, the shelter officially opened and welcomed two families and four single women who were experiencing homelessness. While at the shelter residents will have access to the Norcross Assessment Center, a one-stop shop for resources and support to start their journey to better financial stability. “There is so much more work to do to address this complex problem of suburban homelessness,” said Matthew Elder, Executive Director of HomeFirst Gwinnett. “The shelter opening has been a long time coming and we wanted to make sure we were equipped and 1,000 percent ready to fully support families in need.”

To learn more about the shelter opening and experience the ribbon cutting, click here. For those who are experiencing homelessness and in need of help, please call the Norcross Assessment Center at 770-847-6765 or visit www.homefirstgwinnett.org for assistance.

Previously published on SaportaReport.com.

ATLANTA, GA – United Way of Greater Atlanta announced today that the CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dr. Raphael Bostic, has been appointed as the 2021-22 Board Chair. Dr. Bostic has been on United Way of Greater Atlanta Board for two years and he will now be joined by four new Board members, including Dr. Lisa Herring, the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools; Chloe Barzey, Managing Director of Accenture; and Sarah Clamp, a partner at EY, and Jessica Corley, a partner at King & Spalding. United Way of Greater Atlanta engages and brings together people and resources to drive sustainable and equitable improvements in the well-being of children, families, and individuals in the community.

“At the Atlanta Fed, we recognize the importance of making the economy work for everyone, and our work in this area aligns with the efforts of the United Way of Greater Atlanta to help reduce inequity and bring about a more inclusive economy,” says Dr. Bostic. “As the new board chair, I am very excited to have four new directors who bring a diverse set of skills, experiences, and perspectives. Their addition to our team will allow us to accelerate progress towards our strategic goal of improving the well-being of children and families across the region.”

United Way of Greater Atlanta’s vision for Greater Atlanta is a thriving and inclusive community where every person, regardless of race, identity or circumstances, has equitable opportunities to live a healthy life and to acquire the education and skills they need to earn a sustaining wage so that they may achieve their full potential. The organization’s Child Well-Being Agenda concentrates on the direct correlation between child well-being and thriving communities. While there are many groups doing excellent work, there are gaps in resources in areas of low child well-being, and insufficient alignment among services and resources to drive sustainable change. By providing the necessary attention to resource gaps, and building partnerships in each community, United Way is looking to improve the long-term outlook of the region.

“Education is the greatest equalizer and I believe in the inner strength, power, and talent of all children. Success does not rest on where we begin in life but how each of us maximizes our talents and pursues our purpose. The concept is critical in serving, supporting and educating children and future leaders,” says Dr. Lisa Herring, superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. “I’m proud to join United Way of Greater Atlanta’s board to provide insights and expertise to move the organization’s mission forward and to create and equitable future for all.”

New additions to United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Board of Directors are:

United Way of Greater Atlanta serves 13 counties in the Greater Atlanta area: Butts, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale. Of the more than 1.3 million children living Greater Atlanta’s 13-county region, close to a half a million live in communities with low or very low child well-being.

About United Way of Greater Atlanta

United Way of Greater Atlanta, the largest United Way in the nation, engages and brings together people and resources to drive sustainable and equitable improvements in the well-being of children, families, and individuals in the community. We have improved the lives of 82,000 children, but together, we can do MORE. The organization unites with more than 200 programs in 13 counties through the Child Well-Being Mission Fund to create an equitable future for all. Let’s do MORE, together. Unite for MORE today! For more information, visit: unitedwayatlanta.org or Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

ATLANTA – June 10, 2021 – As our region continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a critical need for investments that broaden access to vaccines for communities that do not have equitable opportunities to receive them. Education to address vaccine hesitancy, especially among immigrant and minority communities, is also a priority to ensure maximum vaccination levels across the metro area.

To make vaccine access more equitable, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta have committed $1.125 million in grants to 23 organizations addressing these challenges. Grants will be administered as the ninth and final round of grants made possible through the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. This round of funding, which is focused on moving our region forward from emergency response to recovery, also includes four grants totaling $550,000 to bolster capacity for nonprofits and nonprofit leaders; 15 grants totaling $1 million to nonprofits focused on comprehensive summer learning opportunities including social emotional supports and to address the digital divide; and 13 grants totaling $650,000 to organizations leading on policy and advocacy, for a total of $3.325 million awarded in this round.

In the initial stages of vaccine roll out in Georgia, as few as 7% of the Latinx population and 16% of the Black population were receiving vaccines compared to 24% in the white population and 33% in the Asian population. In response, the Community Foundation partnered with the Metro Atlanta Chamber to convene leaders from across the region to focus on access to, and education about, the vaccine with a goal of reaching an 80% vaccination rate in the region by July 4. This work informed the latest round of grants to nonprofits that are well positioned to move rapidly and have direct, immediate impact in targeted communities. Grant recipients range from those working broadly across the region to those focusing their efforts on a specific language-speaking population or zip code. All grant recipients are detailed below.

“Since the launch of the COVID-19 Fund in March 2020, its aim was to be nimble and pivot as needed to respond to the most critical need at a given time,” said Frank Fernandez, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “From its initial days funding immediate needs including food access for neighbors in need and childcare for first responders, the Fund’s later rounds focused on changing priorities, including technology for remote learning for students, housing and mental health. This final round of grants focuses on initial steps from response toward recovery and today’s most pressing need, ensuring that our region’s rate of vaccinations improves so that we can truly begin to move forward and return to some sense of normalcy.”

With the COVID-19 grant cycles now complete, moving forward, the Community Foundation and United Way will continue to partner in place-based work to address the needs that COVID-19 exacerbated in our region, especially the racial inequities that emerged in areas ranging from healthcare outcomes to access to essential resources.

“The fact that we pulled together the COVID-19 Fund, secured financial commitments from individuals, corporate partners and private foundations, and made our first grants in a matter of days last March is a testament to the power of partnership,” said Milton Little, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Atlanta. “Now, moving forward, we will work in partnership with our community to develop and deepen place-based strategies that engage local stakeholders, aiming to address the root causes of the challenges that COVID-19 laid bare on our region.”

A grand total of $28.2 million from the COVID-19 Fund has been mobilized to benefit 478 nonprofits in its nine funding cycles. Today’s announced grants, as well as those made in the earlier rounds, are listed on both the Community Foundation’s website and United Way’s website.

Grants for vaccination access and education were prioritized to organizations that are predominantly led by Black and Latinx people as representatives of communities that were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in our communities. These organizations work across a variety of social and economic issues that are critical to recovery for the region and are explicitly working toward improving the lives of people of color, including immigrant and refugee communities.

 

  1. 100 Black Men of Atlanta: $42,500 for the design, coordination, and execution of vaccination efforts on the West Side/Vine Cities communities within zip code 30318.
  2. Amani Women Center: $28,500 for the design, coordination, and execution of vaccine awareness/education campaigns in African-specific languages.
  3. Black Child Development Institute (BCDI) – Atlanta: $50,000 to expand testing/vaccine access and outreach efforts for faith-based partners within Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties.
  4. Center for Pan-Asian Community Services: $50,000 to expand vaccine accessibility to communities served in DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties.
  5. Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta Inc.: $25,000 to expand COVID-19 testing/vaccination awareness and outreach efforts in metro Atlanta.
  6. CORE: $250,000 to operate COVID-19 mobile vaccination units.
  7. CovidCareGA: $20,000 for COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the metro-Atlanta region.
  8. The Family Health Centers of Georgia: $50,000 for COVID-19 testing/vaccination efforts throughout metro Atlanta.
  9. Feminist Women’s Health Center: $25,000 for COVID-19 testing and vaccines.
  10. Georgia Charitable Care Network: $50,000 for COVID-19 testing/vaccination efforts at charitable clinics in metro Atlanta
  11. Good News Clinics: $50,000 for COVID-19 testing/vaccination efforts in Hall county.
  12. Hispanic Alliance GA: $50,000 for COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts to improve accessibility in Barrow, Forsyth, Gwinnett and Hall counties.
  13. Interfaith Youth Core: $25,000 for COVID-19 vaccination outreach efforts in metro-Atlanta.
  14. Latin American Association: $25,000 for COVID-19 vaccination outreach efforts of the Latinx community in metro-Atlanta.
  15. Latino Community Fund: $100,000 for the design, coordination and support of vaccination efforts within Latinx communities.
  16. Los Niños Primero (Children First): $50,000 for COVID-19 vaccination efforts and outreach in the Latinx community.
  17. The Nett Church: $12,000 for COVID-19 testing/vaccination efforts.
  18. Refugee Women’s Network, Inc.: $28,500 for COVID-19 testing/vaccination efforts in refugee and immigrant communities within Clarkston.
  19. Ser Familia, Inc.: $50,000 for COVID-19 vaccination efforts and outreach in the Latinx community.
  20. Southside Medical Center: $50,000 for COVID-19 testing/vaccination efforts throughout metro Atlanta.
  21. The Twenty Pearls Foundation, Inc.: $33,500 for expanding COVID-19 testing/vaccine access, education and awareness in South Fulton communities.
  22. Unidos Latino Association, Inc.: $35,000 for COVID-19 testing/vaccination efforts and outreach in Newton and Rockdale counties.
  23. VOX ATL (aka VOX Teen Communications): $25,000 for COVID-19 vaccination outreach efforts focused on youth vaccination in the metro-Atlanta region.

Capacity building enables nonprofit leaders and organizations to develop the skills and resources they need to strengthen their work. These capacity building investments were responsive to the current COVID-19 landscape. Grants awarded to build capacity for nonprofits include:

  1. Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement: $150,000 to provide capacity building resources for the development of a coordinated care system.
  2. Center for Civic Innovation: $100,000 for a self-care/mental health fund and accompanying programming to support Women of Color community leaders and entrepreneurs.
  3. Georgia Center for Nonprofits: $125,000 to lead 30 Resiliency to Recovery Strategy and Roadmaps program grantees through GCN’s Resilience to Recovery Cohort, including expanded training and $2,500 stipends per organization.
  4. Latino Community Fund: $175,000 to provide capacity-building resources to Latinx-led and Latinx-serving organizations.

The pandemic has set back learning for students in our region and access to summer learning programs is critical to addressing further learning loss. Grants awarded for education include:

  1. 21st Century Leaders: $45,000 for a summer learning program, which will enhance STEM leadership development skills as well as address digital divide for youth in metro Atlanta.
  2. Agape Youth and Family Center: $100,000 for summer learning programs, including work to close the digital divide, in the city of Atlanta.
  3. Atlanta CARES Mentoring Movement: $75,000 for summer learning opportunities that focus on literacy and STEM while addressing the mental health and well-being challenges related to the COVID-19 disruption of the learning environment that is impacting metro Atlanta students.
  4. Center for Pan-Asian Community Services: $100,000for summer learning programs and technology needs for students.
  5. Community Guilds (STE(A)M Truck): $30,000 for STEAM summer learning programs in Clayton county and the Westside of Atlanta
  6. Community Teen Coalition: $40,000 for a six-week summer program simulating a college-going experience.
  7. Corners Outreach: $50,000 for summer programing serving children and teens at three locations.
  8. Fugees Family: $50,000 for the Georgia Fugees Academy Charter School that provides intensive summer support in DeKalb county.
  9. Inspiredu: $100,000 to address the digital divide for students across five metro districts.
  10. LaAmistad: $100,000 for the summer learning program, including work to close the digital divide, serving the Latinx community in metro Atlanta.
  11. Latin American Association: $100,000 for the Latino Youth Leadership Academy and Summer Academic Enrichment Program.
  12. Los Niños Primeros: $50,000 for a virtual summer learning program with a primary focus on children who are immigrants and/or Hispanic or Latinx focused on academics, language acquisition and the arts.
  13. Odyssey: $40,000 for a summer learning program with a focus on communities south of I-20.
  14. SEM Link: $20,000 for a STEM summer learning program in South Fulton and the City of Atlanta.
  15. Raising Expectations: $100,000 for summer learning programs in the Westside of Atlanta.

 

Now more than ever, supporting a strong civic ecosystem that includes policy and advocacy partners is essential for the recovery of the metro Atlanta region. Grants awarded for public policy and advocacy include:

  1. Asian Americans Advancing Justice: $50,000 to increase equitable access to COVID-related information, targeting AAPI, immigrant and other communities of color.
  2. Equity Foundation of Georgia: $50,000 to continue efforts to engage LGBTQ people within their local communities.
  3. Georgia Budget and Policy Institute: $50,000 to improve communities throughout Georgia through policy efforts.
  4. Georgia Coalition of the People’s Agenda: $50,000 to increase civic engagement around issues like health, economic and education equity and power mapping.
  5. Georgia Muslim Voter Project: $50,000 for policy and advocacy building in Muslim communities.
  6. Georgia Shift: $50,000 to increase access to civic participation through voting access, education and advocacy.
  7. Georgia STAND-UP: $50,000 for civic engagement and mobilization for communities of color.
  8. New Georgia Project: $50,000 for civic engagement and mobilization for communities of color.
  9. Project South: $50,000 for policy and coalition building to improve access to resources for COVID-19 relief.
  10. Solutions Not Punishment : $50,000 for the completion of the data gathering project, “A Safe Atlanta” to recommend and provide alternatives to policing  in the City of Atlanta.
  11. The Arc: $50,000 for the Grassroots Connectors program that builds trust in rural areas of the state where information and resources for communities and people with disabilities is scarce.
  12. Women Engaged: $50,000 to build power and provide leadership development targeted toward Millennial and Gen Z Black women.
  13. Women on the Rise: $50,000 for civic engagement and organizing work targeting Black women, LGBTQ, gender non-conforming and women with disabilities

 

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 Contact:

Chad Parker, 404.358.5055
cparker@unitedwayatlanta.org

Note: Photos used in this story were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Marie Wood grew up volunteering with her family at local community food banks, for activities with her church youth group and for other nonprofits spread across the Greater Atlanta area.

Volunteering was something that excited her, that she was proud to be able to do—it showed her a different side of the city where she grew up.

“We went out into other communities, and that’s when you start to realize not everyone in [Greater] Atlanta is as privileged as others,” Wood says.

The high school senior jumped at the opportunity to join United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Youth United affinity group, which is a group for high school students with a passion for serving communities that creates unique volunteer opportunities for them to make an impact.

“I thought it would be really interesting and rewarding to reach out to our community and do this,” Wood, who served as a board member for Youth United, says.

Wood built “Little Free Libraries” with Youth United and attended and lead a number of other service projects at local elementary schools. She liked the connection she was able to make with a diverse group of students. But most of that took place in late 2019, she says. As we now know, the next few months would totally change what outreach at United Way looked like for the foreseeable future.

About two weeks into March 2020, the United States began shutting down restaurants, bars, gyms and schools in an attempt to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The infectious disease, COVID-19, has now infected millions, killed hundreds of thousands and has contributed to mass unemployment across Greater Atlanta and the United States.

Even though there are now multiple COVID-19 vaccines being distributed across Georgia, the pandemic has already greatly hampered the flow of volunteer opportunities that’s become synonymous with United Way.

Volunteering in Greater Atlanta is important work, though—work that is never over. Through the week of April 18-24, we honor volunteers around the world for National Volunteer Week—people like Wood who adapted in the current climate to make sure a need was met.

Classes at Wood’s school and schools across Atlanta where other Youth United board members attended went virtual for much of 2020. Wood says Youth United started immediately trying to find new ways to volunteer while adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines.

They decided on an “Online Storytime” project where members of Youth United would record videos reading some of their favorite books. Since it began in March 2020, Online Storytime has become a favorite volunteer project, and has garnered support from many corporations in Atlanta.

“We liked it because we could serve kids, be a resource to families and parents and bring light to a time when it was all pretty scary,” Wood says. “It was an easy way to brighten people’s day.”

It was an easy way to encourage students to read along or focus on their reading comprehension skills, and volunteers could provide educational resources for parents who were balancing careers while taking care of their children at home. We know that if children aren’t strong readers, their opportunities are limited. We must give children the tools they need from the start to give them a chance to become strong learners.

Virtual reading projects were an important way for our volunteers to connect with these children. It helped further United Way’s work to improve the well-being of children in Greater Atlanta’s 13 counties—it helped us do more, together, in what was an uncertain time in our country.

“I first got connected with United Way because we align with their commitment to literacy and the [child well-being] work United Way has done the last couple of years,” Mimosa Elementary School Principal Ariane Holcombe says. “But, during COVID, we’ve had some virtual ‘read alouds.’ Prior to this pandemic, United Way has helped us with some really incredible programs where they bring in different partners for half a day to provide literacy-based experiences for the students.”

Holcombe’s school in Roswell has about 700 students, and she says the pandemic has created a number of challenges. For example, there’s a distance learning component now and teachers are dividing time with in-person students and those at home.

“As proficient as we’re becoming as teachers remotely, it’s not the same as being face-to-face,” Holcombe says. “We’re a Title I school with a large amount of second-language students, and a lot of what they acquire through language and literacy they are now missing out on.”

This is where volunteers have been able to step in and bridge a gap, Holcombe says.

“They’ve got some really great community role models,” Holcombe says. “That’s key. In a community where many of my families don’t have transportation, the community base is school, the grocery store and home. These volunteers come in—United Way seems to bring in the most diverse individuals— and they are seeing some amazing role models who are so encouraging and supportive.

“It’s nice to know there’s a small group in Roswell out there that are cheering for you even if they haven’t met you yet.”

Every child deserves the same support and opportunities, and every life we change will go on to change the lives of countless others.

Wood is weeks away from graduating now, and she’s planning to make a final decision on college soon.

“I think a lot of my work at Youth United impacted the way I look at my major,” she says. “In college, I’m looking for ways to interact with my community more and more. I’m looking for service opportunities because I believe that with personal progress comes progress as a whole.”

To continue that progress in our community, we must Unite for More. Can children, families and Greater Atlanta communities count on you?

This story was originally published Feb. 26, 2021, and it has been updated as of March 30, 2021.

 

Rev. Bronson Woods was planning to send 35 people to Ethiopia on behalf of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on March 1, 2020. That date sticks out to him for obvious reasons.

During that trip, the team was honored at the Royal Palace by the first woman elected president of the country, Sahle-Work Zewde. But back home, news of the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world forced massive shutdowns and self-imposed quarantines by local leaders to stem the spread of the disease COVID-19.

Woods and Ebenezer ultimately halted in-person services at the church in Sweet Auburn—led by Reverend and current Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock. While Woods, the Assistant Pastor for Young Adults and Outreach Ministries, couldn’t physically interact with crowds from the former church of pastor and civil rights icon Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he knew the work of the church was just beginning. The pandemic wasn’t going to stop Ebenezer’s ministry.

“By March 1, the pandemic was in full effect, and as soon as it hit, we immediately knew we needed some sort of response,” Woods says. “We were able to get ahold of about 54,000 face masks and hand sanitizer, and in a few short weeks we were able to assemble those to provide that to the community.”

The church started off providing masks and sanitizer, but once testing had expanded, Woods says they were able to connect with a lab that could do COVID testing on their campus starting in early summer 2020.

“Since then, we have been testing every week,” he says. “We developed a relationship with the Fulton County Board of Health, and we now have what we call ‘Testing Tuesdays.’”

Ebenezer Baptist Church tests each Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to this, they’ve partnered with local food banks to provide food to the community as well.

 

Partnering for health equity

Woods’ church has also partnered most recently with United Way of Greater Atlanta as part of a broader faith-based initiative to expand testing, education and other resources for communities of color across South Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties.

Ebony Johnson, director of Place-Based Initiatives for United Way, says this Choose Healthy Life initiative kicked off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021. Choose Healthy Life was spearheaded in New York City roughly a year ago by Debra Fraser-Howze, who is widely recognized for her leadership work in communities of color regarding public health issues, is a former Senior Vice President of Government and External Affairs at OraSure Technologies and Founder of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. Fraser-Howze is widely recognized for more than three decades of global leadership to communities of color regarding teenage pregnancy, social welfare and HIV and AIDS. She also advised two U.S. Presidents while serving on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

COVID-19 has spread throughout the U.S. and devastated the Black community, and this program is centered around churches in communities of color and their ability to provide vital information as a trusted source in their community.

“I came into the project with the goal of recruiting and onboarding church partners to serve in this initiative and help them identify community health workers to do health education and outreach,” Johnson says. “Our goal with community health workers is to make sure as many as possible come from the church in that community where it’s located. They are going to be extremely important in providing that peer-to-peer trust within the community.”

Choose Healthy Life has testing events in March at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Impact Church in East Point, Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam in Atlanta, Gateway Restoration Church in Forest Park, Salem Bible Church in Atlanta and Debre Bisrat Saint Gabriel Church in Clarkston.

Helping children and families in Greater Atlanta gain access to information and testing is one of the ways we can help address regional disparities and improve conditions in South DeKalb, South Fulton and Clayton Counties. We know that every person whose life we change or positively impact, will go on to change the lives of countless others. When we work together—pooling our resources, our time and energy—our community impact grows exponentially. United, we can do more for our community. This is important work—work that is never over.

But we can all achieve more if we unite for more.

This work is particularly important in “communities of color that are very hesitant to get testing,” Johnson says. Community health workers and trusted members of the church can help clear up misinformation and misconceptions about the virus, testing and, when the time comes, the vaccine.

“People trust people who look like them,” Johnson says. “Historically, the church has always been the cornerstone for the community. Anything and everything you need—information was shared at churches. That was where you got married, other important moments in life—all that happened at church. Faith-based institutions play an important role in the center of the community.”

Woods agrees.

“There’s something about coming to a house of faith,” he says. “It soothes your doubts and calms your fears.

“The pandemic has charged us to get to work, provide resources and be of assistance right now in this time of need. We’re not just testing folks, but we’re educating folks about the pandemic, what the masks are doing and how important these measures are.”

This effort, though, has done a lot to help people buy in to the importance of testing and vaccination, Woods says. Ebenezer took steps to provide pamphlets, have doctors on site to answer questions and the work has paid off.

More people are getting tested, taking advantage of the resources Ebenezer can provide. This is what Johnson and United Way know can happen in other communities where the number of positive test cases have been significant.

“A big part of this that’s really important to us is the equity piece,” she says. “We had a particular drive to have [Choose Healthy Life] grantees come from our Brighter Future communities… Churches represented as part of this initiative are in South Fulton, South DeKalb and Clayton counties. Data has been an important tool, and we continue to use that to make investments where we do.

“I’m really proud that we have an interfaith approach to this work.”

When we Unite for More, everyone can climb. Work this important is never over or done alone. Can children, families and Greater Atlanta communities count on you? Unite for more today.

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 Urban Farm (MAUF) – $55,000 for an Urban Farm and Community Garden site in College Park.
  128. Morehouse School of Medicine – $42,500 for mental health first-aid to support men of color in neighborhood barbershops within the 30314 zip code.
  129. Museum of Design/Atlanta – $15,000 to provide STEM education access free of charge during virtual learning.
  130. My Brothers Keepers Reaching Out dba I Care Atlanta – $27,000 to address food insecurity in DeKalb County.
  131. NAMI DeKalb – $5,000 to expand peer support services and educational classes for individuals, caregivers, and families in DeKalb County.
  132. Nana Grants – $20,000 for child care scholarships to children of mothers in post-secondary programs.
  133. 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.
  134. New American Pathways – $10,000 for targeted academic support and enrichment for refugee and immigrants students in DeKalb County.
  135. New Life Community Ministries – $38,000 to address food insecurity in South DeKalb.
  136. Next Generation Focus – $30,000 for a virtual platform that provides after school learning opportunities for students to address academic loss.
  137. Nobis Works dba Tommy Nobis Center – $10,000 for programming that addresses barriers to academic success for students with special needs and their families.
  138. Nothing but the Truth – $5,000 to provide “Weekend Food Bags” for families in Title I schools in Gwinnett County.
  139. nsoro Educational Foundation – $10,000 to assist youth aged out of foster care with housing instability.
  140. Odyssey Family Counseling Center – $20,000 for individual and group therapy, and psychiatric services for individuals/families living in south Fulton County.
  141. Odyssey, Atlanta – $10,000 to provide year round access to tutors and mentors to mitigate learning loss.
  142. 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.
  143. Paradise Atlanta Westside Enrichment Center (PAWKids) – $13,000 to address food insecurity in Northwest Atlanta.
  144. PARENTS PROSPER (Formerly Parent Avengers) – $15,000 to connect with other parents that require assistance to maintain their housing in Vine City/English Ave.
  145. Partners in Action for Healthy Living – $43,000 to address food insecurity in South DeKalb and the metro Atlanta region.
  146. Phenomenal Women’s Health – $5,000 for comprehensive health services for high risk youth and uninsured/underinsured women.
  147. Place of Hope Clinic – $50,000 for the establishment of a mobile health unit to provide services in communities served.
  148. Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church – $6,000 to address food insecurity in Cobb County.
  149. Poetic Services – $10,000 for Learning Pods in underserved communities, ensuring students have access to devices, WiFi and staff to assist with homework needs.
  150. Presencia – $10,000 for in-person tutoring programs for struggling readers in a safe and monitored environment.
  151. 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.
  152. 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
  153. 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.
  154. R2ISE – $20,000 for art therapy programs addressing behavioral health challenges as a result of racial trauma.
  155. Rainbow House – $20,000 for emergency sheltering for children during the day as they access virtual learning opportunities.
  156. Rainbow Park Baptist Church – $25,000 to address food insecurity through a food pantry in South DeKalb County.
  157. Rainbow Village – $30,000 for mental health and integrated health services for residents living in the community.
  158. 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.
  159. 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.
  160. re:imagine/ATL – $50,000 to acquire additional equipment and access to technology to serve more students.
  161. Reaping the Harvest Outreach Ministries International – $10,000 to fund a food pantry that serves Henry, South Fulton, Clayton and Butts County communities.
  162. Rebuilding Together-Atlanta – $5,000 to provide home repairs and maintenance to ensure low-income seniors stay in their home and maintain home ownership.
  163. Reflections of Trinity – $25,000 to address food insecurity in Cobb, Fulton and Paulding Counties.
  164. Refugee Women’s Network – $50,000 to assist refugee women with homeless prevention and housing protection services.
  165. Rhema Housing – $40,000 to provide rapid re-housing, emergency support and homeless diversion services for ex-offenders, veterans and those with disabilities
  166. Ryan Cameron Foundation (RCF) – $17,500 for technology for students, self-care sessions for teachers and PPE supplies.
  167. 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.
  168. H.A.R.E. House – $25,000 to prevent homelessness and keep mothers and their children housed and safe in Douglas and Paulding Counties.
  169. 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.
  170. Saint Philip Community Development Corporation – $25,000 to address food insecurity in South DeKalb.
  171. 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.
  172. Scottdale Early Learning – $50,000 to provide care for school-age children of staff that are attending school virtually.
  173. Second Helpings Atlanta – $25,000 to address food insecurity in metro Atlanta.
  174. Self-Discovery: Pain, Positioning & Purpose – $10,000 for virtual trainings for youth and young adults aimed at reducing bullying and suicide.
  175. 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.
  176. Shine Community – $50,000 to expand programs and implement new trauma-informed services.
  177. Showcase Group – $35,500 for behavioral health services and training for youth and families returning from the juvenile justice system.
  178. 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.
  179. 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.
  180. Smart Foundation – $10,000 for computers, laptops or tablets for low-income students who don’t have access.
  181. South DeKalb Improvement Association Education – $17,000 for virtual tutoring services for students in kindergarten through fifth grade in South DeKalb.
  182. STAR House Foundation – $10,000 for virtual one-on-one and small group tutoring to students in Fulton County.
  183. 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.
  184. Still Waters Learning Center – $25,000 for a mobile outreach tutoring program within apartment complexes to address learning loss and struggling learners.
  185. 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.
  186. Study Hall – $15,000 for daily online tutoring programs for students at Dunbar Elementary as identified by school staff.
  187. Sugarloaf Korean Baptist Church – $25,000 to address food insecurity in Gwinnett County.
  188. Supreme Family Foundation – $58,000 for provision of frozen and shelf-stable meals for seniors in metro Atlanta.
  189. 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.
  190. TechBridge – $16,500 for learning pods for the most vulnerable students and after-school, project-based STEAM programs.
  191. Toco Hills Community Alliance – $12,000 to address food insecurity in DeKalb County
  192. Together Friends Organization – $8,000 to fund middle school math programming in Clayton County.
  193. Tri-Cities Church – $3,000 to address food insecurity in College Park, East Point and Hapeville.
  194. Trinity Outreach International – $32,000 to work with schools, particularly those that have been designated as Title 1 schools, to address food insecurity.
  195. Truancy Intervention Project Georgia – $10,000 for trained volunteers working directly with students at Dunbar Elementary to address attendance challenges to virtual learning.
  196. Ubuntu 4 Youth – $5,000 to build home libraries and a book club for English as a Second Language students during virtual learning.
  197. 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.
  198. Vision Tutoring Educational Foundation – $25,000 to fund tutoring programming that addresses learning loss for students of vulnerable families.
  199. VISIONful Communities – $12,500 for arts-based healing focused on racial trauma.
  200. 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.
  201. We Love BuHi – $13,000 to address food insecurity along the Buford Highway corridor.
  202. West Atlanta Community Outreach – $30,000 for childcare support for frontline works and continued internet services for families who need a safe space.
  203. West End Family Life and Community Center – $15,000 to address food insecurity in the West End and surrounding neighborhoods.
  204. West Georgia Missions – $5,000 to offer housing stabilization to individuals in arrears or that are homeless in West Georgia.
  205. Wholesome Wave Georgia – $58,000 for addressing food insecurity and increasing access to fresh, local, healthy foods in our region.
  206. Women Are Dreamers Too – $37,675 for virtual STEM educational content.
  207. Wylde Center – $10,000 for virtual programing and curriculum enhancements, providing hands on learning and at-home kits for STEM aligned lessons.
  208. 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.
  209. Young Entrepreneurs of Atlanta Foundation – $29,000 for student access to entrepreneurial skills via livestream and self pace learning guided by community experts.
  210. Young Stars of America – $25,000 for laptops, internet connectivity and space for safe learning pods.
  211. youthSpark – $35,000 for behavioral health services, mental health training, and advocacy for children affected by sex trafficking.
  212. Zaban Paradies Center – $10,000 for mental health services for families experiencing homelessness.
  213. 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 Mission 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

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.

###

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