Special to The Dallas Examiner
The Disaster Relief Fund will award $25,000 grants to 11 nonprofit institutions for their COVID-19 response efforts, Mayor Eric Johnson announced Wednesday.
The organizations receiving shares of the total of $275,000 in grants were selected by the Fund’s advisory committee based on six priority areas identified by Johnson.
Those areas were:
- Public safety and domestic violence services
- Workforce development and child care for working families
- Homelessness services
- Relief for small businesses and residents in need
- Equity in educational access
- Assistance for families experiencing food insecurity
“COVID-19 has affected seemingly every aspect of our lives. It has exacerbated existing inequities and threatened the health, safety and welfare of our city’s families,” Johnson said. “These 11 organizations are providing much-needed services as Dallas families recover and rebuild from this devastating pandemic. I am grateful to the donors who made these grants possible as we help our communities overcome the difficult circumstances created by this insidious virus.”
The fund, sponsored by The Dallas Foundation, was initially created to help the city shelter Hurricane Katrina refugees in 2005. This year, SMU Quarterback Shane Buechele and Miss Dallas USA Paige Vasquez teamed up to raise about $50,000 for the Fund. Goldman Sachs also contributed $110,000.
Hunt Consolidated Senior Vice President Jeanne Phillips, Former U.S. Ambassador, is the advisory committee chair.
“The Dallas community has come together to respond to the unique challenges posed by COVID-19,” said Phillips. “I am grateful to Mayor Johnson, to The Dallas Foundation, and to my fellow committee members for ensuring that these grants will help support critical initiatives that aid those most in need during the pandemic.”
The money in the Fund can only be used in the event of a federally declared disaster in Dallas. The entire state of Texas received a federal disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic on March 25.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, but for our most vulnerable neighbors – children, the working poor, victims of domestic violence – this virus is truly a disaster, and has only amplified the number of challenges they navigate daily,” said committee member Matthew Randazzo, president and CEO of the Dallas Foundation. “The Dallas Foundation oversees critical philanthropic resources provided by generous donors from across our community so that we can provide a pathway of hope for our Dallas neighbors most in need.”
- Bachman Lake Together, a neighborhood-based collective impact organization that focuses on early childhood education and parent leadership. The organization is currently working with families in the Bachman Lake area to provide emergency financial assistance for expenses such as rent, food, and utilities.
- Crossroads Community Services and Sharing Life Community Outreach, both of which operate food pantries serving families in need.
- Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, which provides child-abuse prevention and intervention services for children who are severely abused and neglected.
- Educational First Steps, which works to improve the quality of early childhood education centers in low-income neighborhoods and helps to get the centers certified. The nonprofit started a COVID-19 Childcare Relief Fund to provide grants for centers’ immediate crisis needs so that they can continue to serve essential workers and working families.
- Family Gateway,which provides stability and life-changing supportive services, including emergency and transitional shelter, to children and families affected by homelessness.
- For Oak Cliff, a neighborhood-based collective impact organization that focuses on lifting individuals and families out of poverty through education, advocacy and community building. The organization is currently providing emergency financial assistance for expenses such as rent, food and utilities.
- Interfaith Family Services, which assists working poor families at high risk for homelessness. The nonprofit provides services such as child care, transitional shelter, and financial and job coaching. In response to COVID-19, Interfaith Family Services also provides emergency support for low-wage and hourly workers in the travel, hospitality and entertainment industries with children ages 0 to 18.
- Mosaic Family Services, a provider of services such as emergency shelter and counseling, primarily to immigrants and refugees who are victims of violence, including domestic violence and human trafficking.
- Paul Quinn College, a historically Black college in southern Dallas. Paul Quinn College created a program that will provide job training designed to help individuals and families access new economic realities and trajectories.
- Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation, which provides a continuum of best practice educational and enrichment programs, from early childhood education through career preparation, for the 7,000 youth of the Vickery Meadow neighborhood. The Foundation is currently seeking funding for 190 iPad pros for students in the EAGLE Scholars program to access online learning from home.