The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically upended all aspects of our lives in just a matter of weeks and is on pace to continue doing so. As a community-informed and engaged foundation, Healthy Communities Foundation has been focused on listening to, learning from and collaborating with grantee, funder and public health partners across our region. It is important to us to hear directly from our partners and work collaboratively across sectors to carry out a multipronged response plan that helps address immediate health and wellness needs in our region.
As led by our values, we commit to maintaining transparency in our approach to funding and collaborations during this time. In addition, while there are several COVID-19 resource guides available, we feel it is important to house those specific to and from our partners and communities. Visit this page frequently as we will be updating resources and information regarding our response plan.
Here is a list of our COVID-19 response activities to date:
We recognize the power of funder collaboratives in maximizing impact in our region. As a result, we are a part of several funder collaboratives, both in terms of funding and information gathering.
During this time of deep uncertainty, we reaffirm the importance of our partnerships. We are inspired by our grantee partners’ commitment to keeping communities strong and healthy. That commitment strengthens our resolve to help them meet their mission and ours—to address urgent and emerging health needs, especially for those who face stark disparities.
Guided by our values and mission focused on health equity, access and quality, the HCF COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund will provide emergency funding to organizations in our region that are directly addressing critical health needs during this crisis.
The HCF COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund had one funding cycle focused on two overarching priorities: Surge Capacity Grants and Recovery Grants. Priority consideration was given to nonprofit organizations that currently receive general operating support through our foundation and who are addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in the following ways: Health service safety nets; mental health services; critical social determinants of health.
Visit the HCF COVID-19 Rapid Response webpage for the list of grant recipients.
As has been our grantmaking approach these past two years, we remain committed to providing the majority of our funding towards general operating support. We firmly believe in strengthening our partners from within so their energy and focus can be on serving and protecting our communities during this pandemic and beyond.
Visit our 2020 Grant Cycle webpage for important update from our President, Maria Pesqueira.
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Compiled Resource Lists
By area (will be updated as we hear about these area-specific lists):
For individuals living in Chicago who need a safe, free place to stay during the COVID-19 pandemic, call the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline at 877-863-6388. They recently partnered with the City of Chicago, Airbnb, and The Network – Advocating Against Domestic Violence to help those in need.
No Contact Pickup/Delivery
Community Organizing: Technology Funders Collaborative – Access to technology has surfaced as a key issue with many communities experiencing the technology divide. This Fund would go towards building organizational capacity to facilitate strategic base building, build new coalitions and partnerships; support an organization’s technology infrastructure.
A Better Chicago: Emergency Relief Fund – Funding for projects and initiatives providing assistance to low-income youth and families experiencing significant hardship due to COVID-19. The focus is on Black and Latinx youth due to the disproportionate impact on these communities and the systemic inequities that exist in them. Grants range from $20K-100K over three to six months.
Center for Community Health COVID-19 Community Recovery Response Fund – The Center for Community Health in Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine is providing financial support for community-based organizations providing services and resources to communities during the pandemic.
Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation – COVID-19 Emergency Grant – Assists individuals who work in theatrical exhibition. To be eligible, individuals must have worked in theatrical exhibition for a minimum of 5 years, derive their primary source of income from the movie theater circuit and have been furloughed/laid off.
PEN America: Writers’ Emergency Fund – Supports the literary community with grants of $500 to $1K. Open to professional writers in the US, including fiction and nonfiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators and journalists.
MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund – Music industry professionals may apply for basic living assistance (rent or mortgage).
League of Chicago Theatres: Chicago Theatre Workers Relief Fund – Helps replace lost income due to theatre closures. It is available to all who have had to stop working, including those on contract, part-time employees, those working on a stipend.
Foundation for Contemporary Arts: Emergency Grants COVID-19 Fund – Will disburse $1,500 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions cancelled/postponed because of COVID-19. Applicants must be individual artists, or an individual representing an artist collective, ensemble or group.
Arts for Illinois Relief Fund – Provides financial relief to workers and organizations in creative industries (i.e. artists and artisans, including stage production members and part-time cultural workers, large to small arts organizations)
Novartis US Foundation: COVID-19 Community Response Fund – Support immediate response and recovery efforts. Programs must support one or more of the following objectives: strengthening local and national healthcare infrastructure to meet increased demand and protect front-line health workers; establishing digital platforms for COVID-19 related data collection; remote delivery of healthcare; effective dissemination of important public health information; creating/enhancing new community health programs specific to the pandemic response.
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