United Way, other non-profits, announce $330K in grant awards for emergency relief from COVID-19 impact

In a press release issued Tuesday morning, the United Way of Monroe County announced the distribution of nearly $300,000 in grants to area non-profits to help them as they respond to the local impact on critical human services needs from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday morning,  United Way of Monroe County announced the distribution of money in the COVID-19 emergency relief fund.

Also included in Tuesday’s press release is the announcement by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County of more than $30,000 in “rapid response” grants to nonprofits, to help with supplies, equipment, remote-work technology and staffing.

A third announcement in Tuesday’s press release comes from the Bloomington Health Foundation (BHF), which contributed $25,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, coordinated by the United Way. BHF also matched $25,000 worth of individual contributions to that fund.

Tuesday’s release says that the BHF funded hand washing stations for Wheeler Mission and Shalom Community Center, working with the Monroe County Health Department. The wash stations help those experiencing homelessness follow the standard advice of frequent hand washing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The allocations from the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund announced on Tuesday are described in the press release as Phase I. The next phase, according to the press release, will continue the coordination between Bloomington Health Foundation, the Community Foundation, Indiana University Foundation, IU Health Foundation, and United Way of Monroe County  to identify current and emerging community needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Barchart COVID-19 cases Indiana March 31

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indiana has a little more than doubled in four days, from 981 on March 27, to 2,159 on March 31.

The number of tests that have been done has about doubled in the same period, from 6,936 to 13,373.

The number of deaths due to COVID-19 in Indiana has about doubled in four days, from 24 on March 27, to 49 on March 31.

The number of confirmed cases for Monroe County residents stands at 30 as of March 31, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Efrat Feferman, executive director of United Way of Monroe County, told The Square Beacon that Phase II takes a six-month view of the situation, while the allocations announced on Tuesday for Phase I are meant to address urgent needs.

The United Way is asking that people consider contributing at www.monroeunitedway.org/COVIDRelief or texting the message COVIDRELIEF2020 to 44-321.

The press release describes the allocations as going toward “critical services serving people in Monroe, Owen, and Greene counties.”

The funds are meant to support agencies that meet basic needs, like housing and food.

Examples of grants described in the press release include one to Catholic Charities Bloomington for online-based mental health services to adults, families, and children.

Another grant will allow Pantry 279 to help people in Ellettsville and surrounding communities who need food, a number that has increased by a factor of four during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.

The American Red Cross Southeast Indiana Chapter will use its grant to support all possible blood donations, because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant blood shortage due to cancelled blood drives, according to the release. Wheeler Mission plans to hire temporary emergency shelter staff to make up for diminished numbers of volunteers.

The largest of the grants, at $70,000, will support a collaborative project between Shalom Community Center, New Hope for Families, Wheeler Mission, Middle Way House, and Monroe County Health Department by paying for an isolation shelter space for people who would otherwise be in mass shelters.

Contributors to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund listed in the press release include: Bloomington Health Foundation, Bloomington Township, Boston Scientific, City of Bloomington, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, Cook Medical, Duke Energy, First Financial Bank, Hoosier Energy, IU Credit Union, Monroe County Government, Old National Bank, Owen County State Bank, Perry Township, private individuals, Tim Ellis Realtors, Truist Foundation, United Way of Monroe County, United Way Worldwide, and Van Buren Township.

Allocations from United Way COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

Agency COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
Shalom Community Center (for community isolation shelter) $70,000
Hoosier Hills Food Bank $50,000
Wheeler Mission $35,000
Area 10 Agency on Aging $20,000
Middle Way House $20,000
Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard $20,000
Amethyst House $15,000
Catholic Charities Bloomington $15,000
Pantry 279, Inc. $15,000
El Centro Comunal Latino $12,000
Bloomington Meals on Wheels $7,000
New Leaf – New Life $6,000
The Monroe County Food Train $5,750
Community Kitchen $4,175
All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center $2,500
American Red Cross Southeast Indiana Chapter $1,500
Total $298,925

Rapid Response Allocations from Community Foundation 

Agency Community Foundation Rapid Response
American Red Cross Southeast Indiana Chapter $2,500
Bloomington Playwrights Project $2,500
Community Kitchen of Monroe County $2,500
Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County $2,500
Middle Way House $2,500
Monroe County United Ministries $2,500
New Leaf New Life $2,500
Bloomington Symphony Orchestra $2,333
People and Animal Learning Services $2,000
Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard $1,950
WonderLab $1,800
Courage to Change Sober Living $1,530
WFHB $1,494
Healthnet $1,180
All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center $1,000
Hoosier Hills Food Bank $1,000
Monroe County History Center $735
Total $32,522