In response to the COVID-19 crisis, funding partners established a cross-sector, community wide COVID-19 Response Fund of the Greater Evansville Region, primarily Gibson, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties. This response is designed to serve the community through the relief, recovery, and restoration phases typical of large-scale crises to catalyze hope in a time that perpetuates hopelessness and isolation.
All partners involved agree that the current priority is to ensure responsiveness in the human services sector so that individuals and families in need are supported during this pandemic, especially vulnerable and at-risk populations. Specifically, the Fund will seek to:
- Advance tactics that provide gap support (not duplicated by Federal programs) to those who are asset-limited, income-constrained and may be temporarily unemployed (ALICE)
- Sustain critical operations and levels of service that meet the basic needs of the vulnerable, at-risk, health care workers, and first responders (e.g., food, shelter and childcare)
- Support temporary staffing or volunteer mobilization efforts in response to loss of the volunteer base critical to essential social services
- Encourage and champion a movement of neighbors caring for neighbors
The purposes* are focused on short term relief. Criteria for the recovery and restoration phases will be determined as needs and opportunities emerge in the coming months.
The founding fund partners invite the broader community to contribute to the COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund as a primary and strategic vehicle designed to meet our community’s needs in the short, mid, and long term (18 month horizon).
The Fund was launched on Friday 3/27/20 with over $1,000,000.00 committed by individual donors and initial partners. These first gifts were intended to be catalytic in creating confidence that this is a strategic united effort across multiple sectors of our community.
United Way of Southwestern Indiana has generously agreed to be the fiscal sponsor so that donations can be tax deductible. Further, none of the donations will be retained by the United Way and no administrative cost will be charged to the fund. Any unused funds will be used to establish a future community crisis response fund.
Fund Advisory and Allocation Committees with members from broad-reaching, representative organizations and leaders across the region are working to identify organizations to which the fund will make contributions. The committees will make timely and informed grant-making decisions which will be openly communicated and that there will be multiple rounds of investment based on evolving needs over time. Organizations receiving grants will be required to report on use of the monies granted. We launched the application for organizations on Friday, April 3.
*As the crisis unfolds, if we find that the need diminishes in these community areas, we want to assure you as a valued donor that United Way SWIN, along with the Fund Advisory and Allocation Committees, will be working to identify and address the most critical needs in our communities.
Relief – meet immediate need, a temporary fix for now
Recovery – a transitional foothold, for a ‘new normal’
Restoration – a transformational foundation, for what’s next