As the damage from the pandemic continues to mount, The Pittsburgh Foundation is taking charge of an effort to distribute $1.62 million in rapid relief funding to 28 local nonprofits that are providing immediate help to those in need.

Allegheny County picked The Pittsburgh Foundation to disburse the funds from the CARES Act due to its long-standing relationship with many small local nonprofits.

Organizations that received funding include When She Thrives ($21,000), which helps single mothers with food and financial support to help lift them out of poverty, and Hello Neighbor ($94,000), which works to improve the lives of resettled refugees and immigrant families by matching them with dedicated local “neighbors” who help support and guide them.

Kianna Copeland and Brianna Kline-Costa from Kitchen of Grace on Pittsburgh’s North Side prepared hundreds of free lunches for people struggling with food insecurity related to Covid. Photo by Joshua Franzos.

Other recipients include Youth Enrichment Services ($52,600), which helps young people aged 10-21 from low-income and communities of color, to become successful through academic enrichment, mentorship, holistic wellness and workforce development.

Another nonprofit receiving a grant is Kitchen of Grace, which offers opportunities through paid apprenticeships in culinary training and business development while providing meals to those experiencing food insecurity.

“These organizations were in a great position to meet the needs of communities most impacted by the pandemic and we were proud to be part of the process to get them funding to meet essential needs,” says Pittsburgh Foundation President and CEO Lisa Schroeder.

“The Coronavirus Relief Fund demonstrates how community philanthropy can help local governments distribute grants quickly and with confidence that support is going to organizations serving the most affected communities.”

In September, 83 nonprofits led by and serving Black, Brown, Latinx immigrant, refugee and/or LGBTQIA communities were asked to apply to the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The money is meant to cover Covid-related expenses incurred between March 1 and December 30, 2020.

The proposals were reviewed by The Pittsburgh Foundation and the POISE Foundation. Grant requests ranged from $13,000 to $100,000.

Those eligible for funding had to have the following goals:

▪ Meeting basic needs, such as food, shelter, rental assistance, mental health and wellness support, child care and senior assistance and educational support for school-aged children.
▪ Providing food delivery to vulnerable populations in compliance with Covid public health precautions.
▪ Supporting Covid testing and Personal Protective Equipment.
▪ Disseminating health and safety messaging to help reduce the spread of the virus and translating it as needed, including information about Covid and its symptoms and CDC-recommended practices.
▪ Working to reduce the disparate impact of the virus and its aftermath on Black, Brown, Latinx, immigrant and LGBTQIA populations and communities.
▪ Reducing social isolation by supporting safe community activities.

Youth Enrichment Services (YES), Inc.: Matthew Steffy-Ross (left) talks with his mentor Joseph Ballin. Photo by Renee Rosensteel for The Pittsburgh Foundation.

Coronavirus Relief Funds were awarded to the following organizations:

1Nation: $58,000
A. Philip Randolph Institute Pittsburgh Chapter: $43,800
Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh: $1,200
Casa San Jose: $28,400
Circles Greater Pittsburgh Inc.: $42,200
Community Empowerment Association: $36,400
Coraopolis Youth Creation: $44,100
Greater Valley Community Services Inc.: $42,400
Healthy Village Learning Institute: $65,400
Hello Neighbor: $94,000
1Hood Media Academy: $100,000
Hosanna House Inc.: $28,800
Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation: $97,900
Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh: $25,000
Kingsley Association: $25,000
Kitchen of Grace: $69,500
Latino Community Center: $20,500
Melting Pot Ministries: $51,600
Nabhi Christian Ministries: $92,800
NEED (Negro Educational Emergency Drive): $50,100
New Voices for Reproductive Justice: $85,000
Persad Center Inc: $98,000
Project Destiny Inc.: $98,200
South Hills Interfaith Movement: $100,000
United Somali Bantu of Greater Pittsburgh: $100,000
Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank: $48,100
When She Thrives: $21,200
Youth Enrichment Services (YES): $52,600

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Shaunna, and 10-year old son.