An immune-compromised single mother still waiting for unemployment struggling to make her mortgage payment received the support she needed at the right time to keep her and her family housed. A young woman striving to become a U.S. citizen, at the last stages of the process, who lost her job and was unable to make the final application payment. By covering her fees she can complete the process she has worked so hard towards. From rental assistance to utilities payments, gas for the car or food to eat, the COVID-19 Relief Fund has helped those in need at a time of unforeseen crisis.
The Community Foundation awarded a grant of $25,000 to the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund (MCCF) to provide individual relief to coastal residents. As a grass-roots, nonprofit advocate for low-income and at-risk children in Mendocino County, MCCF is a trusted community partner on the coast. And by matching our grant, MCCF was able to extend the impact of their work. Among their multifaceted response to provide COVID-19 relief, MCCF awarded $8,500 in housing and utility grants to prevent homelessness. Food insecurity is a constant threat to those living in the margins, and with the pandemic the number of food insecure families has skyrocketed. MCCF directed just under $18,800 towards groceries for undocumented families and high-risk patients in need. A little over $750 provided emergency assistance to the local food bank and street medicine program to purchase critical supplies, including hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, disinfectant, and detergent. Lastly, $9,825 was used to fund transportation for people at risk of food insufficiency due to a lack of gas money, or in need of transportation out of the area for medical services.
To specifically support South Coast residents, the Community Foundation also awarded $5,000 to Mendonoma Health Alliance (MHA), a local network of health care organizations serving South Coast residents. By securing a matching award from Gualala Lions Club, MHA has been able to provide support with rent and utility assistance, gas and grocery cards, and supplying local food banks with more stock. Having served 49 vulnerable individuals so far, MHA is ensuring South Coast residents with the greatest need have access to critical resources to keep the lights on and food in the cupboards.
Supporting coastal residents was especially important to Harvest Market, the Candelaria Fund, Jim and Arlene Moorehead, and Savings Bank of Mendocino County, which is why they joined as lead 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 on the coast.
The Community Foundation was founded as something of a ‘community treasure chest’ to support countywide residents. Through the generosity of our COVID-19 Relief Fund donors, we have been able to open up this treasure chest to those in greatest need. To date we have awarded a total of $200,000 countywide for individual assistance, including these funds targeted for coastal residents. We are grateful for the partnership of Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund, Mendonoma Health Alliance, and North Coast Opportunities to ensure our ability to ‘bridge the ridge’ and support vulnerable residents on the Mendocino coast, as well as all of our donors who make this work possible.