COVID-19 Response Fund Grant Recipients 7.10.20
We’re proud to announce that as of July 10th, 2020 over $650,000 dollars so far of COVID-19 Response Fund has been distributed. These funds are being used locally in Greater Lafayette to help the families and agencies experiencing the short and long term affects of the coronavirus outbreak.
Where the Funds Went
Boys & Girls Club- serves young people between the ages of 6 to 18. Membership dues are kept low so that all youth can afford to belong on an equal basis. No youth is ever turned away because they cannot afford the fees. The Lynn Treece Boys & Girls Club of Tippecanoe has two locations where professional staff are trained to recognize and respond to the collective and individual needs of club members. COVID-19 funds provide supplies to keep club members safe by providing instruments to monitor temperatures, masks, gloves, and sanitizer. Additionally, funds will be allocated towards the Summer Brain Gain program promoting STEM activities, power pages and high-yield learning activities; all in efforts to keep members on track to return to school. Previous programming data has shown that these activities are not only enjoyable to the members, but also provides an academic challenge that improves scholastic achievement.
Family Promise- provides shelter and services to local families in a housing crisis intending to provide short-term emergency shelter to families with children, and to assist with securing the resources they need to get back into housing and self-sufficiency. COVID-19 Response Funds will extend services beyond providing immediate shelter to ultimately serve families through diversion, immediate support, and stabilization assistance. The funding provided will be used for things such as housing security deposits, application fees, storage fees, moving costs, and basic necessities. More immediately, the funds will help house and feed families in hotels to self-quarantine before bringing them into the shelter. Family Promise has a relatively small space and they need to ensure that social distancing and safety precautions are implemented and used to the best of their ability. Some funding may be used for preventative measures including costs for masks, thermometers, gloves, etc. which will be an ongoing expense in light of COVID-19. Staff have been working remotely when possible and Family Promise needs funding to upgrade technology allowing staff to work effectively from home.
Food Finders Food Bank – In response to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, Food Finders moved to a drive-thru distribution model for the J.P. Lisack Community Food Pantry beginning the week of March 23rd. Food Finders experienced a 30% increase in households served every day that the distribution was offered. This is an increase from the average 350 households that are typically served during normal operational hours. The cost to Food Finders to pre-pack boxes for distribution is $10 per box or per household. Boxes include shelf-stable items, frozen protein and bagged produce. In order to further limit interactions between staff, volunteers and clients, they offer distribution twice a week, encouraging households to come to one distribution per week while offering more food at each interaction.
Home with Hope- provides a continuum of care, often following primary treatment or detox for alcoholism and substance use disorder, for men and women age 18 and older. They help clients learn how to live their lives as productive members of the community, free from addiction and substance use, by providing an environment conducive to recovery. This includes strict monitoring and structure, case management, group and individual counseling, recovery coaching, random drug and alcohol screening, and the opportunity to seek employment and work in the community. COVID-19 Response Funds will allow up to 20 residents to receive financial assistance for a period of 4 weeks if they become unemployed.
Imagination Station – received funds to create approximately 500 STEM Play Packs which include three to five open-ended toys that encourage scientific inquiry for children in kindergarten through 4th grade. STEM Play Packs will be distributed with the Lafayette School Corporation School Lunch Program operated by Chartwells. The STEM Play Pack program allows children to start the summer with play that builds knowledge and skills that are STEM-relevant and broadly applicable. The selection of indoor and outdoor toys will likely include a Frisbee, bubbles, a deck of cards, jump rope, dice, chalk and a ball. The Frisbee allows children to learn aerodynamics as they experiment with the angle and distance of a throw. Bubble play includes catching them with wet and dry hands, pondering why bubbles are different, and how many colors they have. Decks of cards become building materials to engineer structures, and can teach coding, be sorted, and enable games using patterns and numeracy. Jump rope lengths can be adjusted for experiments on how the change affects the number of jumps a person can do in a minute, and jumping gives them a reason to record their heart beats per minute. Dice let children explore chance statistics, build numeracy skills, practice adding and subtracting as they play games. Chalk is used for hop scotch, tic-tac-toe, obstacle courses, and color mixing. Balls encourage experiments with force, gravity, and momentum. According to teach.com, “Despite the vast offerings of complex toys…the good old basics may still be the best choice. These open-ended toys…allow for children to command the toy rather than the other way around…can be used for multiple types of play, requiring more imagination to bring these simpler toys to life.”
Joyful Journey is a community–based not–for–profit organization committed to providing compassionate and loving adult day service that preserves the dignity and well–being of everyone who visits & provides encouragement and support to every caregiver. We were established so that families would have another option when it comes to compassionate care for their loved one who is unable to stay home alone during the day. Our purpose is not to replace the role and responsibilities of the main caregiver. Rather, we strive to provide relief and respite to the main caregiver in their unique and important role while providing safe and purposeful days for our Friends. Funds were awarded to support staff during the reopening phases as well as other operational expenses, including special health & safety oriented supplies, food for Friends being served, equipment and activities.
Lafayette School & West Lafayette School Corporations- Food Distribution- As school buildings closed and moved to online learning, a need was immediately recognized. Many children in our community rely on free and reduced breakfast and lunch during the week and struggle to access healthy food. With support from many local companies, organizations, and volunteers, free meals were provided to children in our community from March 19th through March 27. This gave the school corporations time to develop a plan to carry out throughout the remainder of the school closure period. A total of 9,330 meals were served during this time.
The LafayetteYMCA was able to pivot its resources and offer childcare services for essential workers during the COVID-19 health crisis. As the Governor begins to lift stay-at-home orders and lifts restrictions to get people back to work the Y is prepared to fill a growing need for affordable childcare services. The Y continues to work with the CDC and state officials to maintain safety guidelines and regulations to be able to expand our reach for affordable childcare services as the need arises in our community. Covid-19 Response funds will help offset the burden or reduced staff to children ratios and safety equipment needed to provide childcare during the current health crisis.
Social isolation has also been a concern for the Seniors in the Greater Lafayette community. Fundamental health and social activities contribute to older adults living a healthier and more fulfilling life. The Y is a place for social interaction for Seniors whether it be around the coffee bar, playing cards in the multi-generational room, walking the track or taking a land/water aerobics class. However, the Y also understands that families, seniors, and individuals have been faced with financial difficulties through this pandemic. The underlying goal of the YMCA is a commitment to being accessible to all, and we work very hard to support those who may need help or be in challenging financial situations. The YMCA financial assistance program provides help to pay for the needs of families, youth, and other individuals who can’t afford to pay the full cost of YMCA Membership and child care programs. COVID-19 Response Funds will be used for youth, families, and seniors to receive financial assistance to offset the barriers to access to quality programs.
Legal Aid Corporation of Tippecanoe County– will assist residents of Tippecanoe, Benton, and Carroll counties through implementing a legal assistance hotline. This hotline would be handled by practicing attorneys to provide resources for agencies who have clients needing legal assistance support. Legal Aid has begun preparations for an anticipated influx in legal service needs once the rent moratorium expires. Through an emergency fund for legal services, the organization is prepared to pair qualified applicants with a private attorney and compensate that attorney on behalf of the client facing eviction. This includes coordinating intakes, hours, and rates being paid to private attorneys as well as staying current on assistance available to clients and sharing that information with other United Way agencies.
LTHC Homeless Services, formerly Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, is the coordinated point of entry and initial assessment for anyone experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis in Tippecanoe County and connects them to the supportive housing and services they need. Funds from the COVID-19 Response Fund will ensure that LTHC can continue to meet any emergency needs as they arise and keep individuals and families safely housed. This includes tenants that have been assisted through rapid rehousing in the past 90 days but have lost income due to COVID-19’s effect on local employers, and guests who are working and able to sustain housing but cannot afford the up-front expenses to get housed.
Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Good Samaritan Program is an emergency financial assistance program that provides our community’s most vulnerable families and children with a strong and reliable safety net. Help is available for utility bills, rent, and prescription medications. Funds will be used to assist low-income families directly affected by employment disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Matrix LifeCare Center- In addition to providing free pregnancy education (now online), counseling, and limited health care, they also provide free baby and parenting supplies to families in Greater Lafayette! Matrix provides baby clothes, diapers, blankets, maternity clothes, toys and other baby supplies free of charge. In response to COVID-19, emergency supplies to assist women and families with essentials that their children and babies need, including diapers, wipes, formula, and clothing. All services and goods are free of charge.
Purdue University- Community Health Worker
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and amplified the rampant inequities and weaknesses of our public health and social welfare systems that disproportionately affect marginalized and underserved populations in the U.S. People experiencing homelessness or housing instability are at particularly high risk for both disease transmission and adverse outcomes of COVID-19. To effectively engage these populations, initiatives should be based on the guidance and input from community-based organizations and leaders who have knowledge of the needs and capacities of their communities. Engagement and navigation strategies must also focus on building strong relationships and earning the trust of those who have traditionally been socially marginalized, stigmatized, and underserved. Funds will be used to deploy a Community Health Worker. Community health workers (CHW) are frontline public health workers who have a close understanding and the trust of the community they serve. This trusting relationship enables the CHW to serve as an essential link between health and social services and the community to facilitate access and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. A CHW also builds community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities including outreach, community education, resource navigation, social support, and advocacy.
The Salvation Army’s mission to “do the most good” and offering hope includes providing resources to meet the most basic of human needs. Additional funding given through the COVID-19 Response Fund will assist in keeping families housed and utilities on during the government’s “shelter in place” mandate. For example, additional funding will assist families experiencing a loss of income with: rent assistance and utility bills to reduce chances of disconnection when the freeze has been lifted by utility companies.
STEAM Academy- During COVID-19 STEAM Academy and Adventure Station daycares stayed open per the governor’s request to provide care for essential employee’s children. Due to the stay at home orders STEAM Academy’s enrollment drastically declined by about 70%. STEAM did not charge families any tuition if they were not bringing their students. However, the organization continued to pay its teachers and operations. They took in 13 children of essential workers from a daycare that had to close due to COVID-19. Additionally the costs incurred to implement CDC safety guidelines have had significant impact on operations. Funds from the COVID-19 Response fund will assist with maintaining that high quality childcare options are available for families in Tippecanoe County.
Tippecanoe County Council on Aging (TCCA)- TCCA operates three main programs; Tippecanoe Senior Center, Meals On Wheels Greater Lafayette, and the Senior Home Assistance Repair Program. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Senior Center has been temporarily closed. The Senior Home Repair Program has been drastically scaled back; however, the Meals on Wheels program has seen a dramatic increase. Staff have been working on additional tasks to stay engaged with clients; these include calls, mailings, social media, etc. in order to combat senior isolation. TCCA has also been providing necessary food and items to their customers to allow them to stay at home and limit their exposure. These unforeseen costs, as well as compensation for the staff overtime, have impacted the operational budget. Funds provided will be used to cover payroll costs, mileage, costs and additional food expenses that the organization has encountered.
Valley Oaks- The financial assistance will be used for creating a first responders support group. This support group will be facilitated by a licensed therapist at Valley Oaks Health and will be conducted once a week virtually. First responders can join a group via a virtual setting to help process stress, depression and anxiety regarding COVID-19. Valley Oaks Health will offer this support at no-cost to the first responders for the next 6 months. Currently masks and gloves are provided for the staff who work with vulnerable populations however PPE is needed to help continue the face to face services that are needed to help mitigate any risk of staff and patients being infected with COVID 19.
WeBloom- Recovery Café is a love-based Recovery Community for those dealing with substance use disorder, mental health challenges, homelessness, poverty, food insecurity, trauma, grief, loss, etc. Due to COVID-19, food service at the café has been suspended. Recovery Café seeks to provide each of its members with the nutrition and encouragement to survive the current health crisis. Their funding will provide members with the emails they could not otherwise obtain for themselves. By utilizing food cards, members will be able to purchase food from local grocery stores and prepare fresh meals in the safety of their homes. These funds will go straight to the members of the community who are most in need. Also, they will provide members with the necessary coping tools and strategies to stay grounded through this crisis. These members are at particular risk for reoccurrence of use, loss of income, loss of shelter, and food insecurity. Additional stressors contribute to triggers for dealing with substance use and mental health disorders. Recovery Café Lafayette will tailor supports specifically to each member’s needs.
Wabash Center- Wabash Center Direct Support Professionals work in close direct contact with individuals with disabilities. As cases of COVID-19 become more prevalent in the Greater Lafayette Area, fewer DSP’s will and are available to assist in the care of persons with disabilities in Wabash Center’s 24-hour settings. Money from the response fund will increase the supply of Personal Protective Equipment for DSP’s and discretionary funding to provide hazard pay for DSPs working in sites with positive or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.
Willowstone- provides face to face mental health therapy to over 700 clients per year. They serve children, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens who are facing a variety of mental health issues. In order to continue providing mental health and addictions counseling they are converting to provide telehealth services via Doxy.me. This platform gives clients the ability to connect to their Willowstone therapist via their smart phones or computers. They do not have to download an app, they just need to follow the personalized link that they are sent. Doxy.me is HIPPA and HITECH compliant so client’s privacy will be upheld. Support from COIVD-19 funds will help to offset this unplanned expense. Additionally, funds will assist with existing Health Families clients to stay engaged with services and help them with their living expenses during the COVID-19 crisis. It is important to child safety in these uncertain times that Home Visitors have continuing contact with families and eyes on children as often as possible. Families are very stressed during a crisis, which can lead to child abuse and neglect. Willowstone hopes to relieve some of the financial stress they are experiencing. While providing services to help families cope.
YWCA- Domestic Violence Intervention Prevention Program serves a highly vulnerable population of victims of violent crime who often are unemployed or single income earners with dependent children, and living in poverty. COVID-19 will reduce options to seek safety for domestic violence survivors because there are fewer services and interventions available. During Covid-19, many people have lost their jobs or have been furloughed. Financial hardship and instability are drivers that force victims back to abusers as they struggle to maintain self-sufficiency. Financial assistance for survivors to cover the basics including rent, mortgages, utilities, childcare, medical costs and prescriptions, phone and Internet, and essential household items. Additionally, funds will cover necessities required to maintain infectious disease protocols such as large quantities of disinfectants and hand sanitizer equipment and emergency divider screen to assist in the mitigation of spread.