In early April we announced that our Trustees approved a first-phase grantmaking response to COVID-19. The response is centered in the Foundation’s commitment to fostering health equity and these grants provide one-time general operating support to organizations providing critical services during this time. The RMHF Trustees recently approved the following thirty-seven COVID-19 response grant applications, totaling $500,800.
Behavioral Health Services
$10,000 each to the organizations noted below for the provision of behavioral health services:
- Better Housing Coalition (senior citizens)
- Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)
- Hanover Safe Space (domestic violence)
- Jewish Family Services
- Safe Harbor (domestic violence)
- YMCA of Greater Richmond
$7,500 each to the organizations noted below for the provision of behavioral health services which includes two safety net providers:
$5,000 each to the organizations noted below for technology purchase to support telehealth:
Support for Non-English Speaking, Refugee, and Immigrant Populations
$10,000 each to the organizations noted below to provide health and human services and/or emergency assistance:
- Commonwealth Catholic Charities:(1) provide rent/utility assistance to our refugee clients who are in financial crisis as a direct result of the current COVID-19 pandemic are in greatest need and (2) support direct-service staff member salaries as they experience increased demands on their time in proportion to the increased needs of our refugee clients.
- Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center: Funding support will cover financial emergency assistance for Spanish speaking victims of violence and their children and ensure that the Spanish speaking population in the Greater Richmond Region has access to information in their own language about services and resources available for them. Funding will also help supplement other grants necessary to the operation of a non-profit organization.
- ReEstablish Richmond: (1) Upgrade technology to enable virtual interactions and provide online learning opportunities for clients (2) hire translators and interpreters from within the refugee communities to translate materials for those with low English literacy (3) Provide interpreters (4) Establish an emergency fund that will provide direct payments of up to $500.00 immigrant families who have lost work due to COVID-19. This fund will be used exclusively to help families pay rent.
- Sacred Heart Center: Funding will support (1) Emergency Relief Program, which began on 4/15/20. This fund will provide payments towards housing costs of immigrant families that will not receive the federal stimulus payment. (2) address the short-term needs for our staff operations and supplies, including non-perishable food, baby formula, diapers, hygiene supplies, and grocery store gift cards
- Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation Financial Opportunity Center : will provide (1) direct financial housing assistance up to $500 per family. (2) FOC counselors will advocate with landlord on an agreement that to freeze evictions to help protect undocumented renters and/or renters who do not have a formal lease. (3) provide direct financial assistance to family needs food, gas, medical, baby supplies.
$1,400 to the organization noted below to translate and provide factual, language appropriate COVID-19 safety and response information:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond as fiscal sponsor of Virginia Excels : Funding will support a targeted bilingual communications campaign to address information gaps in the region to families through Spanish radio stations, Facebook and Instagram Ads. This funding will also support a parent advocate to serve as the point of contact for the initiative.
Support for Older Adults Service Providers
Caregiver Services (focused on supporting in-home health care)
- Circle Center Adult Day Society: A $20,000 grant will support the transition to in-home services for the 150 clients who regularly participated in the on-site adult day program until it had to be closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Funding will allow staff to create on-line programming for clients and their families to help them stay engaged and connected as well as to maintain healthy lifestyles during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place requirement. The funding will also support staff time for direct calls to clients and to maintain existing support groups virtually.
- Family Lifeline: A grant of $20,000 will provide long-term support services to assist older adult clients with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, exercise, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, and laundry. Funding will provide a boost in pay and transportation stipends for home care workers over the next 90 days to reflect the personal sacrifices and challenges they are facing in continuing to deliver critically needed in-home care.
- Jewish Family Services: A grant of $20,000 will allow JFS to supplement the pay of current in-home caregiving staff to allow them to provide more hours of service (above and beyond Medicaid hour limitations) each week. In addition, a small portion of the grant will provide transportation and child care stipends in order that the in-home care staff can continue to work given the impact of COVID-19 on transportation and child care options.
- Senior Connections: A $20,000 grant will provide additional personal cares services for current older adult clients and new clients who now need in-home care because they can no longer participate in congregate services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A small portion of the grant will be used to ensure that in-home caregivers have the protective equipment they need in light of the COVID-19 virus.
Technology focused on transitioning to various forms of telehealth for organizations noted below:
- Lucy Corr Foundation: A grant of $5,000 will support the purchase of technology that will enable telehealth and telemedicine visits for Lucy Corr residents who are currently isolated in their continuing care residential community due to COVID-19. Funding will also support technology that will expand Lucy Corr’s ability to provide ZOOM video calls for residents with their families during this time of restricted visitation. In addition, funding will support the purchase of oral cameral technology that will allow dental care to be provided without the residents having to leave their room and potentially compromising the health of others in the facility.
- Medical College of Virginia Foundation as fiscal sponsor of VCU School of Nursing: A grant of $4,900 will support the purchase of smart speaker technology in order to provide remote wellness visits, health education, medication review, and social connectedness to older adults living in senior housing facilities that are currently isolated due to COVID-19. The effort is a partnership between the VCU Richmond Health and Wellness Program, Say Care and the VCU Nursing.
The above grants are in addition to the following grants, which were previously approved and announced.
- Virginia Community Capital $50,000 to support a Renters’ Relief / Eviction Prevention Program.
$10,000 to our nine Health Safety Net Partners:
- Access Now
- Capital Area Health Network
- Crossover Healthcare Ministry
- Daily Planet Health Services
- Free Clinic of Powhatan
- Health Brigade
- Rx Partnership
- The Virginia League for Planned Parenthood
As a part of The Trustee’s first-phase response, which centered around the Foundation’s commitment to foster health equity and provide one-time general operating support to organizations providing critical services and outreach to senior citizens, non-English speaking populations, those at risk of intimate partner violence and other forms of physical abuse and those at risk of losing much needed behavioral health services, these grants were awarded.
- The Community Foundation for a greater Richmond $50,000 to support the COVID-19 Response Fund
- Robins Foundation $50,000 to support the Family Crisis Fund providing immediate financial relief for families with children
- CultureWorks $22,000 to support the Arts and Culture Relief Fund providing financial assistance to professional artists