As our community moves into the next phase of the pandemic, so does the United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) in its efforts to support nonprofit organizations meeting the immediate needs of residents.
Since its inception in 2020, the Community Crisis Fund (CCF) has awarded more than $3 million to 121 organizations in Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker counties. These grants provide non-profits additional resources to care for those most affected by the pandemic and meet immediate needs in three primary categories:
- Basic Needs Assistance: Food, utility, rent/mortgage, emergency medical expenses, or prescription drug needs
- Mental health Supports: Crisis intervention, counseling, domestic violence intervention, child abuse treatment, social/emotional supports for school-aged children, and substance abuse/overdose treatment
- Education Supports: Childcare assistance and academic acceleration activities
In Phase I alone, grants from the CCF went toward helping local organizations serve an additional 33,000 individuals. With applications now open for Phase IV, more of our neighbors will receive access to vital services, including mental health support, education assistance and aid with basic needs such as food and rent.
“This is important because it can mean the difference between one of our neighbors being food-insecure or having enough to eat,” said Kadie Peters, VP of Allocations and Grants for Community Impact at UWCA. “It can mean the difference between someone receiving low or typically no-cost mental health services during a national crisis or suffering with untreated anxiety and depression.”
Funds helped foster a supportive environment at places like the A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club, so they could engage children in a virtual learning environment and provide meals to members. The grants assist agencies such as the Crisis Center as they navigate a 40% increase in call volume since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. CCF support helps ensure the needs of clients experiencing a personal or mental health crisis can be met.
As unexpected as the past 18 months have been, the one thing we can predict is the services offered by local agencies will always be needed. The funding lends a huge hand in upholding their missions to care for the vulnerable in our community.
From January to June of 2021, CCF grants have been used to provide:
- 285,039 pounds of food.
- 155,186 meals to the community.
- 10,865 clients with crisis-intervention supports (hotlines and crisis services).
- 1,099 clients with counseling services.
- 914 clients with teletherapy services.
- 1,924 clients with childcare needs.
- 376 clients with outpatient and/or residential supports for treatment of substance abuse/overdose.