Wanting to ensure equitable access to this funding, we knew it was important to help bring other non-profits into the process, so they could refer their clients in need. One of these partners is Ukiah Vecinos en Acción (UVA), a Latino coalition acting as a bridge between agencies and the Latino population. By including them in this process we allow UVA clients to feel safe applying for help through NCO. As a result, 64% of applicants for individual assistance to date in inland Mendocino County are Spanish-speakers, the majority unable to get unemployment or stimulus checks because of their citizenship status.
To date NCO has granted $16,169 to 23 families in Ukiah, and $18,058 to 23 families in Willits, with 90% to date being used for rental assistance. The vast majority are renters falling substantially below the federal poverty level. As we write, 63 applications are under review from all regions including Ukiah, Willits, Laytonville, Round Valley, Anderson Valley, and the coast.
A single mother of three young children in Ukiah was working 40-hour-weeks, until the schools closed and she no longer had childcare. Forced to significantly reduce her hours, with grocery expenses skyrocketing, she is struggling to make ends meet and she is ineligible for unemployment since she is technically still employed. By working with the NCO case manager, rent was mailed directly to the landlord to cover the shortage, and the family was signed up to receive fresh groceries from the Mendo Lake Food Hub on a regular basis. Through these partnerships, we were able to support this family to stay afloat during their most dire moments.
Likewise, a large family living on a local reservation was struggling to make ends meet when working became too dangerous for the high-risk elders in the home. By reaching out to NCO for individual assistance, the family was able to receive help with their utilities and groceries.
By awarding a grant of $165,000 to NCO, we are able to provide individual assistance to those facing the greatest hardship as a result of this crisis. Well-versed in a plethora of resources, the NCO case managers are able to strengthen our impact by connecting those in need with other resources as well, including the Mendo Lake Food Hub, CalFresh, and more.
Making an impact on inland communities was important to all of our donors, and especially Jim and Arlene Moorehead, the Savings Bank of Mendocino County, the George and Ruth Bradford Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the DeLucia Family Fund, the MLH Fund, the Ted and Wilma Westman Fund, the J-Olivanti Fund, and the Pearson Family Fund, which is why they joined as significant donors in our relief efforts. They know the needs of their neighbors, and believe in supporting the community they love. By giving to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, they have made an incredible impact to individuals in inland Mendocino County.
The Community Foundation was formed to provide donors a way to enrich the Mendocino County communities they care for. Through the generosity of our COVID-19 Relief Fund donors, we have been able to open up these incredible resources to those in greatest need. To date we have awarded a total of $200,000 countywide for individual relief. We are grateful for the partnership of NCO, UVA, and all our regional non-profits, to ensure our ability to support vulnerable residents, as well as lead donors who make this work possible.