The COVID – 19 pandemic has dramatically changed life in our region. A growing population is increasingly burdened by economic and health hardships.
In response, Rockwell Fund, Inc. (RFI) is providing funds to organizations that support vulnerable populations in our community. These populations include seniors and people with disabilities, people exposed to violence and abuse, high poverty communities, LGTBQ populations, immigrants, homeless and unstably housed people, and systems-involved youth and adults.
RFI is proud to fund our COVID-19 partners. Below is a summary of our response funding decisions made so far in 2020.
The Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries (ACAM) is a member service organization committed to advancing high-impact collaboration, service, and organizational development among community assistance ministries in the Greater Houston Area. ACAM’s network of community assistance ministries is our region’s front line for basic needs support. The network has been taxed during the pandemic, specifically the food pantry system. In partnership with the Baxter Trust and RFI, the ACAM network launched a program to distribute H-E-B vouchers in increments of $30 to families in need.
Change Happens is a community-based organization in the Third Ward with strong connections to its schools and families. The organization will provide children with laptop computers and internet connectivity for the academic school year. RFI funds will be used to purchase laptops for students at Lockhart Elementary, Blackshear Elementary, and Yates High School.
Chinese Community Center (CCC) is a multi-ethnic organization serving all Houstonians by enriching families with educational, cultural, and social service programs. CCC created a fund to assist families with rent, mortgage, utilities, and basic needs. In addition to financial assistance, CCC also provides employment and financial counseling, affordable childcare, and online health management classes. CCC serves the most diverse region of greater Houston, and CCC’s staff speak English, Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese. RFI funds will help support administrative costs related to CCC’s COVID-19 fund.
Comp-U-Dot partners with businesses to acquire used computers to close the technology gap for low – income students. During the pandemic, Comp-U-Dot created a laptop distribution program being replicated in several cities in the US. Working with groups like Communities in Schools and the YMCA, Comp-U-Dot sets up temporary distribution sites throughout the region. RFI funds will support laptop distributions for area students.
East Harris County Empowerment Council (EHCEC) serves families in East Harris County and is committed to making it the best place to live, learn, work and play. EHCEC has many local community initiatives including a COVID-19 Roundtable, back-to-school supply drives, adult and youth education programs, and a robust disaster relief and financial assistance program. RFI invested in the EHCEC financial assistance program for low-income residents of East Harris County.
Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (HCDVCC) works to increase community collaboration to reduce and prevent domestic violence in Harris County. In response to the increased rates of domestic violence during COVID-19, HCDVCC designed a shelter diversion program that partners with and quickly trains community partners to meet victims of violence where they are , problem-solve a way out of violence that avoids typical shelters, and applies flexible funding to facilitate a plan to address family diversion. RFI funds will support flexible funding for families.
Interfaith Ministry’s Meals on Wheels Program provides home-delivered meals to disabled adults and homebound seniors. Due to increased demand, Interfaith has experienced rising costs and decreased availability for many of its supplies for the Meals on Wheels program. RFI funds will help with the increased cost of running this critical program during the pandemic.
Kids Meal, Inc delivers free, healthy meals to preschool children. The organization has experienced an increase in demand for services during the pandemic. RFI funds will be used to support the salaries of temporary drivers hired to address increased demand.
Living Hope Wheelchair Association serves immigrants with disabilities and their families. The organization was formed in 2005 after Harris Health ended a program providing medical supplies to individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid. RFI funds will be used to support immigrant families who were left out of unemployment and economic stimulus funding.
Montrose Grace Place provides food, mentorship and skills building to homeless youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities who are between the ages of 13 and 24 years. Currently, the organization is also providing cash assistance to youth experiencing homelessness or are at-risk for homelessness. Montrose Grace Place developed a fund to provide immediate cash assistance to LGTBQ youth that are unbanked, a group left out of federal COVID-19 cash relief. RFI’s grant will be used to support the fund and to provide homeless youth with basic needs.
Pure Justice is a local advocacy and community service organization primarily serving the Black community in Houston. With social distancing and stay-at-home orders, family violence has increased in our region. In collaboration with Community Empowerment Solutions and Fresh Spirits, Pure Justice developed the Empowered Survivor Project to primarily assist Black women in avoiding family violence. RFI dollars will be used to support flexible cash assistance to survivors seeking assistance through the Empowered Survivor Project
With school and business closings, these organizations will provide needed relief and services to thousands of Houstonians. RFI staff will continue to participate in funder discussions in the region to ensure we are supporting the nonprofits aiding those most impacted by COVID-19. The Rockwell Fund is proud to support our COVID-19 grant partners as we prepare for the economic future of our region.
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