United Way Emerald Coast released the third phase of grant money totaling $70,000 to 15 local non-profit organizations in Okaloosa and Walton counties from the COVID-19 Relief fund. Since United Way began the COVID-19 relief grant process, they have provided a total of $140,000 back to 19 vetted local non-profits.
United Way works with hundreds of partners to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Okaloosa and Walton counties. Their COVID-19 relief grants provide support to non-profits who provide housing assistance, utility assistance, healthcare, child care, and food security to working households negatively impacted by COVID-19.
“Because of the sudden economic impacts of COVID-19, many local hard-working households are still struggling to make ends meet. Our non-profit partners are trying to do all they can to rise to the challenge of these uncertain times,” said United Way CEO Kelly Jasen. “We are proud to support their efforts – and thousands of local families – with these COVID-19 Relief Grants. We are incredibly grateful for the corporate partners, individual donors, and volunteers who are stepping up to help our community address these unprecedented needs. Because of these partnerships, Phase 3 funds were allocated to 15 vetted non-profits supporting the people hardest-hit by this pandemic.”
The 15 local non-profit organizations selected to receive funds include:
• Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Florida
• Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast
• Caterpillar 2 Butterfly Outreach Center
• Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida
• Children in Crisis
• Early Learning Coalition of the Emerald Coast
• Feeding the Gulf Coast
• Fresh Start Children & Families
• Homelessness and Housing Alliance
• Mental Health Association
• Okaloosa County Council on Aging
• One Hopeful Place
• Opportunity Place
• S4P Synergy
• The Salvation Army
The non-profits were required to submit a COVID-19 relief grant application in order to be considered for funds. Each non-profit will also be required to submit results, showcasing how the funds were able to directly impact the families and individuals their organizations support in the community.
“Since March 1, Opportunity Place has received 239 calls from individuals and families seeking shelter. We were only able to shelter 27. The funds from United Way and Gulf Power will enable us to help those that we are unable to shelter, but who still have pressing economic needs,” said Kathryn McNabb Cochran, PhD, Executive Director. “The funds will be used to prevent homelessness by covering rent and utility costs for those facing eviction and to help those already experiencing homelessness get back into their own home by covering re-housing costs. These funds will go a long way in preventing and relieving homelessness in our County during this pandemic.”
The COVID-19 Relief Fund was made possible by several local businesses. Gulf Power Foundation, Florida Blue, Publix Super Markets, Eglin Federal Credit Union, Wind Creek, Beast Code, Truist Foundation, Beach Community Bank, Wells Fargo, Whole Foods and 40 individual donors. To support the COVID-19 Relief Fund, please visit www.united-way.org/relief