Findlay, OH (MAY 18, 2020) – United Way of Hancock County’s Crisis Relief grants now total more than $80,000 since they first became available in April.

United Way’s second Crisis Relief Fund cycle awarded $29,469 on Tuesday, May 19, to nonprofits serving those impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). This is in addition to the $51,558 dollars awarded in the first cycle of Relief funding in late April.

Agencies receiving grants from the second cycle of funding include:

·      Hope House for the Homeless, $7,500 for housing services for the homeless bringing their total award in the first and second cycle to $15,000.

·      The Feed-A-Child program, a partnership of the Findlay YMCA and United Way of Hancock County, will receive $15,969 with up to $15,000 of that total as a relief grant for continuation through the summer of the program and $969 in designations.

·      Salvation Army, up to $5,000 to address unique needs directly related to the impact of COVID-19.

·      West Ohio Food Bank will receive $1,000 in designations for its food distribution program

Agencies awarded grants in the first cycle include, Christian Clearing House, City Mission, Findlay Family YMCA, Hope House for the Homeless. Maranatha Food Pantry, and the West Ohio Food Bank.

United Way maintains a relief fund and activates fundraising efforts at the onset of a local crisis to proactively respond to immediate basic needs. Distribution is made in a timely manner to expedite recovery measures. This fund is evidence of the generosity of area individuals and businesses and is designed to complement the work of city, county, public health and school officials and expand local capacity to address local crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing needs stemming from the pandemic will continue to evolve, funding is to address the following priorities:

• Food/meals for older adults and children: COVID-19 presents an especially dire threat to already food-insecure families who now face an uncertain economic future. With schools and many daycare centers closed, children may no longer have access to regular meals. Meanwhile, older adults with limited means and increased health risks, may also have increased food insecurities.

• Eviction/homelessness prevention: Low-wage workers will be among the communities that feel the economic impact of COVID-19 the most. The food, travel, leisure, arts and hospitality industries are already being hit hard, and workers in these industries often have low pay and minimal access to paid sick leave which leaves them at risk of losing housing. Families and individuals who have been homeless in the past are also particularly at risk of losing their housing in economic downturn.

• Flex funds: Flexible dollars are critical to respond to other crises local nonprofits and the clients they serve may confront such as transportation, childcare and utilities issues due to COVID-19.

To learn more and apply for funding visit http://liveunitedhancockcounty.org/relief-fund-2020 or contact  Heather Heilman, Community Impact Director, at heather.heilman@uwhancock.org.

To donate to UWHC’s Relief Fund, visit https://www.liveunitedhancockcounty.org/give or send a check to United Way of Hancock County, 245 Stanford Pkwy, Findlay and enter “Crisis Response” in the memo.