The Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund has awarded its first community grants to help in this unprecedented time of need.
The United Way of Bucks County-led fund has awarded $5,000 each to Bucks County Opportunity Council, Bucks County Housing Group, Penndel Mental Health Center, and Advocates for Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) to assist residents dealing with crisis related to COVID-19.
How the funds are being used:
- Penndel Mental Health Center provides help to vulnerable populations, including those with severe and persistent mental illness and those who are literally homeless. The agency is using the funds for essential items, like urgently needed personal protective gear for staff and nonperishable food for clients.
- Advocates for Homeless and Those in Need is using their grant to help with pressing needs like food and emergency shelter. They note that the demand for emergency shelter is increasing and their limited resources are not able to keep up with the need.
- Bucks County Opportunity Council, Bucks County’s lead anti-poverty organization, is using the funds for emergency food, shelter, and transportation. They will be able to leverage additional funds to ensure that this private grant will help as many people as possible.
- Bucks County Housing Group is using funds to support their high-volume food pantries. As a result of COVID-19, they have made significant changes to the way they operate. This funding is essential to provide food and sanitary supplies to thousands of high-risk households in Bucks County.
“Like any other nonprofit, we are struggling to keep our services intact during this pandemic. Grant funds go a long way in helping us carry out our mission,” said Hema Gandhi, chief financial officer at Penndel Mental Health Center.
The fund launched last week with $50,000 from the United Way of Bucks County and Penn Community Bank. Additional support has come from PECO, Dow, Foundations Community Partnership, the Bucks County Foundation, and numerous individual donors.
Organizations who are part of the United Way of Bucks County’s member agencies will be able to submit grant applications that will be reviewed by a panel of business and nonprofit leaders.
United Way of Bucks County leaders said the funds are released immediately to quickly assist those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
The organization is urgently seeking donations for the fund. Donations can be made at uwbucks.org/COVIDrecovery or by mailing a check to United Way of Bucks County, 413 Hood Boulevard, Fairless Hills, PA 19030 with “COVID Recovery” in the subject line.