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Georgia COVID Relief Work
On March 17th, 2020 LCF Georgia launched our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to provide direct assistance to Latinos in Georgia focusin on the most vulnerable, the undocumented, poor and Limited English Proficient.
Funding supported food security efforts, rental and utility assistance and emergency cases addressing a gap in philanthropic investments for these critically vulnerable communities.
The convolution of legal status, language barriers and cultural drivers created an emergency in a large number of pockets across the state. This humanitarian crisis is still defined by widespread unemployment, increasing eviction rates and hunger affecting primarily Black, Latinos, undocumented immigrants and English learners.
Total amount of COVID relief funds invested
Direct assistance to families: $702,000
Grants to organizations providing relief and food: $803,600
Direct food assistance: $160,500
PPE and supplies for distribution: $71,500
Total in community: $1,737,600
Distribution, navigation & outreach contractors and personnel : US $78,000
Priorities & Impact as of December 10, 2020
FOOD DISTRIBUTION. Using a framework that uplifts the dignity of all individuals, we have funded and helped coordinate food distribution of culturally appropriate groceries for thousands of individuals. Our model does not require a SSN, photos, children to be present or restrict access to those too poor to afford a car or those who lack a drivers’ license.
RENTAL ASSISTANCE. We have supported hundreds of families in the counties of Whitfield, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, Clarke, Rockdale, Newton, Fulton, Hall and Chatham receive partial rental assitance through member organizations screening directly community members and prioritizing undocumented families and individuals.
COVID-19 FREE and ACCESSIBLE TESTING. In collaboration with CORE Response and several immigrant-led and POC-led organizations providing access to space and translations; we have organized testing in Dekalb County, Fulton County, Houston County and Hall County, designed to be friendly to immigrant communities.
Key differences: FREE, no ID required, no complex registration system, walk-in and drive-thru, kid-friendly process, in immigrant communities, with local volunteers, in-language outreach and support
We have already facilitated testing to over 2,700 individuals using this design of service
UNDOCUMENTED BUSINESS OWNERS. We believe in an inclusive and equitable recovery strategy that considers investments in undocumented families engaging in commercial activity as part of their self-sufficiency. We have supported 55 entrepreneurs with $1,000 grants so they can purchase supplies, PPE and materials to re-start their commercial activity in a safe and secure way.
CONVENING & RESOURCE AGGREGATION. As a membership organization, we sprung into to action to collect data on key priorities for members as well as created safe and brave spaces for community leaders and groups to come together.
- We opened a line for nonprofit professionals, DOTD-GA grantees and first responders to call every week for emotional and peer support.
- We organized bi-weekly calls for coordination, provide technical assistance to the majority of the organizations doing direct relief for the first time
- Built a website documenting all efforts directed, and friendly to undocumented communities UnidosGeorgia.com
- Intensified data collection to update our resource map featuring points of programs and services for organizations with language capabilities for families: http://bit.ly/lcfmap This resource map received over 1,600 unique visits per month from individuals looking for pantries or rental assistance. Additionally, over 2,000 have navigated our resources with tutorials.
Grant Making to Latinx-led Grassroots Organizations
Grants prioritized member organizations (Latinx-led, Latinx-serving and Latinx-governed), andcommunity groups led by the people the serve. These groups have cultural competencies and language capabilities and upheld principles of equity making their efforts open to ALL and prioritizing undocumented and Limited English Proficient communities.
Direct Financial Assistance Complementing Grantmaking
We hired 4 navigators and outreach contractors in South Georgia to address the limited infrastructure of Latinx-led organizations in the area. Over 538 families were served directly by us with financial assistance including providing PPE to over 2,000 farm and essential workers in the area.
Funding Principles (please join us!)
We believe all grantmaking should be inclusive to ALL communities and center around the most vulnerable.
An equity lens MUST include diversity in documentation status and language.
Our initial cohort of member organizations co-created a 5 point criteria to prioritize the most vulnerable. We encourage you to join funders like us and the Seattle Community Foundation to focus on:
- Approach: Emergency relief AND recovery are not mutually exclusive. There are long-lasting urgent needs disproportionately affecting communities of color and immigrants with limited resources, networks, language and transportation barriers. Aproaches tailored to specific cultural, historic, and language needs of communities are critical to address the discrimination and racism against those communities.
- Target Population: Focus on communities already facing health and economic disparities, if we don’t, we will help perpetuate the inequities that persist in our community, such as:
- Undocumented workers and mixed status families unable to receive other types of relief
- Low-income residents and workers, including those without health insurance and/or access to sick days or from disproportional impacted industries
- Residents at higher risk health risk from the COVID-19 outbreak, including people over 60 years old, people with compromised immune systems, and pregnant individuals
- Residents with limited English language proficiency
- Communities of color
- People with disabilities
- Community Trust: Fund organizations led by the people they serve. Deep relationships and experience are key.
- Readiness: Some groups may be volunteer-led or maybe small, but they are willing and ready to be on the front-lines. Larger organizations often times are more difficult to move and pivot. Nobody has experience dealing with a pandemic. Focus on organizations willing and able to deploy resources quickly to meet community need.