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COVID-19 Relief Fund Investments

Hosted by United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley, in partnership with Valley Assistance Network, the COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.

ABOUT COVID-19 Relief Fund Grants:

As a result of the generous donations to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, grants will be made available to agencies in our region meeting the immediate, unmet needs of communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Grants will be dispersed to agencies within the United Way NSV catchment area of the City of Winchester, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah and Page counties that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic and social impacts. Funds will be released on a rolling basis, as quickly as possible, as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis. All grants will be publically disclosed here on United Way NSV's website. United Way NSV will request basic reports on the use of all grant funds with a description of the assistance provided to members of the community. 100% of all funds granted are to be used to provide direct assistance to those affected.

These grants are meant to increase resiliency in disproportionately affected communities by addressing the immediate, unmet needs of working families due to sudden loss of income caused by COVID-19 related closures. Immediate, unmet needs may include:

  • Food and food supplies
  • Prescription and medical supplies
  • Mortgage payments for homes or businesses/Rental assistance
  • Car repairs or payments
  • Utility payments
  • Child care
  • Other

United Way will require documentation that clients proposed to be helped by grant funding were employed prior to March 2020 and that their current unemployment was a result of the pandemic.

Agencies receiving grants are also requred to submit the following doccumentation: 

In order to be eligible to receive grant funds, agencies must submit the following required documentation:

  • IRS 501(c)3 Letter
  • 2018 or 2019 IRS Form 990
  • Verification of being legally incorporated and registered in Virginia

As a grantee, Non-Profits also must agree to the following:

  1. Grantee shall expend the funds exclusively to provide direct assistance to local families for immediate, unmet needs caused by the sudden loss of income due to the impacts of COVID-19. Funding cannot be used for operating costs.
  2. Grantee agrees to return any part of the grant funds not used for the stated purpose of this grant.
  3. Grantee agrees to complete a report on the use of these funds with a description of the direct assistance provided to United Way NSV by September 1, 2020. If services are still ongoing, the grantee will work with United Way NSV to determine an appropriate timeline for reporting. If services have completed and funds have not been expended the grantee agrees to return unused funds at that time.
  4. Grantee shall maintain an accurate accounting record and retain records of disbursements related to the expenditure of grant funds. This information is to be included in grant reports to United Way NSV.
  5. If the grantee is awarded funds more than once, the grantee shall complete a report for each separate amount awarded.
  6. Grantee shall notify Jennifer Hall, Director of Community Engagement, to address challenges in deploying these resources. 
  7. Grantee shall acknowledge the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley as a partner in these efforts.
  8. Should the grantee fail to adhere to the requirements above, they will not be eligible for future funding support from United Way NSV.

Grant Investments:

TOTAL RELIEF FUND DOLLARS RAISED TO DATE (5/28/2020):
  • $89,530 in private donations
  • $89,530 United Way matching dollars
  • Total: $179,061
Highland Food Pantry - $10,000 Grant
(issued 3/25/2020)

Highland Food Pantry proposes to use these funds to provide emergency financial assistance to those impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic.  Funds will be used to assist with utilities, medical and prescription needs, car repairs and insurance, child care and other needs as may be determined on a case by case basis. We will require documentation that clients were employed prior to March 2020 and that their current unemployment was a result of the pandemic. A $100 cap of funds will be available to each family. The COVID-19 Is the emergency that will send many ALICE families into poverty. The $100 won’t stop everything, but it will help with immediate needs and give clients the opportunity to seek unemployment benefits or additional employment. We will be able to help 100 local families with immediate relief.

FaithWorks -$10,000 Grant
(Issued 3/25/2020)

Faithworks will prioritize providing rent/mortgage assistance to households throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley struggling to make their next rent/mortgage payment because of a sudden job loss or drastically reduced hours associated with the COVID-19 mandates. As funding is available, Faithworks will also assist to fill in the gaps for assistance with utility bills, and other unmet needs as warranted.

All applicants will need to provide documentation from their employer stating when they started working reduced hours or became temporarily unemployed because of an unexpected slow down/shut down associated with the Coronavirus. If applicant is out of work due to childcare issues, a statement will be requested from the childcare provider.  Additionally, an assessment will be made on all households regarding the other resources they have accessed (i.e. unemployment, other employment, paid time off, other organizations, etc.)  All applicants will also need to provide a statement from their landlord showing that all past rent/mortgage payments have been paid as of the date of the application, and that the assistance they are seeking is for upcoming/current rent. The same policy applies for utility bills. Assistance with COVID-19 emergency funds will only be provided for current rent and utility bills, not past due balances.  Documentation for assistance with other needs will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Setting limits on rent/mortgage assistance is difficult since there is such a wide range in this community. As much as possible, Faithworks will limit assistance per household to $800 with the option to evaluate on a case-by-case basis in order to fully meet the most critical needs in the most effective and efficient way possible.

BLUE RIDGE HOUSING NETWORK - $10,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 3/27/2020)
BRHN will provide financial assistance to help pay rent, mortgages, and for utilities for those who are low income. BRHN will also be setting up financial counseling for monthly spending plans and setting up action plans. BRHN will require a letter or notification from the individual's employer stating that employment loss or termination was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BRHN's fundring requirements are for clients to be at or below the 80% median income for the area. Due to these restrictions, BRHN will be able to certify that all clients will be part of the ALICE population or in poverty.
Sinclair Health Clinic - $5,000 Grant
(Issued 3/27/2020)
Sinclair Health Clinic tracks patients’ pharmacy needs, payments and balances through pharmacy payment software. Through this software, we can track prescriptions and patient debt to the pharmacy. Additionally, we have already increased the hours of an employee to meet the demand of new patient enrollment and visitor screening. We are tracking their time and essential functions daily to ensure they are serving the needs of our service community. 
 
With the grant, we will cover the costs of some patients’ medications due to an inability to pay due to job loss and reduced hours stemming from the health crisis. Increasing medication inventory - to meet the state’s desire to provide our patients with a 90-day supply of medications in response to the health crisis. 
Salvation Army (Winchester) - $2,500 Grant
(issued 4/2/2020)
To support the mobile feeding canteen, distribution food and meals to remote families in need.
Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging - $2,500 Grant
(issued 4/2/2020)
For the Meals on Wheels program  for food and hygiene items for homebound seniors.
AbbaCare - $500 Grant
(Issued 4/2/2020
To provide diapers, wipes and formula to ALICE families.
Community Care and Learning Center - $1,650 Grant
(Issued 4/2/2020)

To help with supplies and cover the cost of registration fees for childcare for essential employees.

SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties - $1,000 Grant
(Issued 4/9/2020)

To provide pet food and emergency vet bills to pet owners who are in crisis due to COVID-19.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington - $3,000 Grant
(Issued 4/9/2020)

To provide emergency motel accomodation assistance to people in the community whose primary residence has been a motel and are struggling due to the healthcare crisis and have been laid off by their job. We will use these funds to assist 10-15 families stay in hotels during the crisis. 

Page One of Page County - $10,000 Grant
(Issued 4/9/2020)

The grant will increase resiliency in disproportionately affected communities by addressing the immediate, unmet needs of working families due to the sudden loss of income caused by COVID-19 related closures. Immediate, unmet needs may include:

  • Rent Assistance $2,000 We are prioritizing direct help to people with their rent as we see unprecedented numbers of individuals facing housing insecurity as a result of COVID-19. Relief caps are set on a case-by-case basis.
  • Utility Assistance $3,000 Our biggest increase in demand under COVID-19 has been a need for help with electrical bills as more community members and their families are stuck at home all day without a steady paycheck to count on. At our utility assistance cap of $200, this money would save at least 15 families from eviction in one month. With average-sized families and the variability of bills, that could amount to saving over a hundred individuals from debt and eviction.
  • Food for Pantry $4,500 Along with the loss of wages, we have seen both an increase in need for food and new inquiries from people who have never needed our assistance until this crisis. This is especially challenging, as all levels of the food bank supply chain have had to change their person-to-person models. We are adapting, and this includes continuing to procure what we can at a discounted rate. Even when that is not the case, we always coordinate bulk buys, seasonal tactics, and other approaches to stretch our dollars.
  • Pantry Supplies $250 COVID-19 supply needs include gloves, masks, and sanitizer.
  • Pantry Freight $250 Delivery is important now (more than ever) as our person-to-person model evolves to keep everyone safe. In addition to our usual delivery avenues, non-pantry employees and pantry volunteers have taken on increased delivery responsibilities. We want to be sensitive to their expenses and concerns, including paying for gas.
Healthy Families of Northern Shenandoah Valley - $2,500 Grant
(Issued 4/9/2020)

To provide emergency diapers, wipes and formula for families with babies in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

AIDS Response Effort (ARE) - $3,000 Grant
(Issued 4/9/2020)

To provide emergency utility assistance to families facing a crisis beyond their control. ARE will assist families who would normally have the means to pay their utilities, but due to a loss of income or employment are unable to pay for themselves.

Bright Futures - $5,000 Grant
(Issued 4/23/2020)

To provide food and food supplies to continue to feed students while school is closed due to COVID-19. About 900 students in Winchester Public Schools and Frederick County Public Schools received weekend packs every Friday during the school year. When Schools are closed the students contine to need food. Need has increased due to the pressure to feed children 7 days a week. As of 3/23/2020 Bright Futures saw an increase to 1339 students requesting food. Funds will go to purchase more food and support the children who are a part of the program. Each family with students taking part in the program was contacted and confirmed a change in the ability to provide food for the children due to COVID-19, saying that it has created a greater need for food in their family.

FaithWorks - $10,000 Grant
(Issued 4/23/2020)

Faithworks will continue to provide rent/mortgage assistance to households throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley struggling to make their next rent/mortgage payment because of a sudden job loss or drastically reduced hours associated with the COVID-19 mandates. As funding is available, Faithworks will also assist to fill in the gaps for assistance with utility bills, and other unmet needs as warranted. Documentation is required from all applicants to include a current paystub, a letter from their employer stating when they started working reduced hours or became temporarily unemployed because of an unexpected slow down/shut down associated with the Coronavirus. If applicant is out of work due to childcare issues, a statement will be requested from the childcare provider.  Additionally, an assessment will be made on all households regarding the other resources they have accessed (i.e. unemployment, other employment, paid time off, other organizations, etc.)  All applicants will also need to provide landlord information and verify that the assistance they are seeking is for upcoming/current rent. The same policy applies for utility bills. Assistance with COVID-19 emergency funds will only be provided for current rent and utility bills, not past due balances.  Documentation for assistance with other needs will be determined on a case-by-case basis.   

The Compassion Cupboard of Strasburg - $5,000 Grant
(Issued 5/7/2020)

To provide food for children and adults who are going without within the Strasburg area. Last year Compassion Cupboard of Strasburg served 957 families. The organization spends about $1,000 each month buying food. With the projected pandemic outcome for the next several months, they expect that number to increase 30 – 100%.

Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley - $1,000 Grant
(issued 5/14/2020)

Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley (BICSV) received a grant to purchase care packages and gift cards for food, gas, medication, and other household items for high-risk individuals living in Page and Shenandoah Counties.

 

Blue Ridge Housing Network - $10,00 Grant
(Issued 5/28/2020)

BRHN received an additional $10,000 to assist with rental and mortgage assistance. See previous grant above for more information. 

 

Blue Ridge Legal Services- $500 Grant
(Issued 5/28/2020)

 BRLS received a $500 grant to provide advocacy and education materials for eviction prevention.  VAN has been working closely with them to prepare for a tsunami of evictions that we’re expecting.

 

Page One - $10,000 Grant 
(Issued 5/28/2020)

Page One will receive a second $10,000 grant to continue operating a food pantry and provide financial assistance for prescriptions, medical care, rent and utilities. See previous grant above for more information.

 

Left to Distribute as of 5/7/2020:
  • $76,061