Agencies serving food, homelessness, behavioral health, legal aid for housing needs
urged to apply for grants starting August 7
CLEARWATER, Fla. – (August 6, 2020 / 3 PM Embargo) – With eviction rates sure to soar in September, food banks struggling to stock shelves, and individual coping skills stretched to the limit due to Covid-19’s uncertain future, nonprofits serving these needs welcome news of a new funding source to help their clients through another phase of the pandemic.
According to an agreement being announced today between Pinellas County (the County) and Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF), known as The Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund, a total of $30 million in CARES Act funds will be available to qualifying nonprofit organizations beginning August 7. This public/private partnership is the first time the County’s CARES Act dollars are being offered expressly to nonprofits, and the first time the County has partnered with a foundation to administer a nonprofit support program of this magnitude.
Eligible agencies are encouraged to apply at www.pinellascf.org/CARES .
WHAT PINELLAS NONPROFIT AGENCIES ARE SAYING
Two nonprofit agencies welcoming the grant opportunity are Gulfcoast Legal Services and New Visions of the Well. Both organizations received grants in March from a similar program called the Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund. That Fund is a partnership of PCF, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg and United Way Suncoast. To date, the Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund has distributed nearly $1.3 million in private funding to the community.
“Even with the moratorium extension on evictions, landlords can still commence residential eviction proceedings due to rent non-payment,” said Tammy Greer, Executive Director of Gulfcoast Legal Services. “Landlords just cannot seek a final judgment.” Getting legal support at this early stage is critical to the outcome, she said. Obtaining a grant would help build the legal staff to handle the influx of calls expected this fall.
“Mental health support for the black community is a crucial need,” said Dr. LaDonna Butler, President and CEO of New Visions of the Well, a mental health services provider focused on persons of color. The black community is doubly challenged due to the combination of the stress of systemic racism and rising concern about health and Covid-19, according to Dr. Butler.
New Visions of the Well supports the wellbeing of individuals and communities who are at risk for behavioral health disparities due to exposure to historical, systemic and race-based trauma.
According to Duggan Cooley, CEO of Pinellas Community Foundation, “the partnership with the County requires a high degree of accountability and integrity, which is at the core of our values.”
For over 50 years, PCF has served more than 262 charitable agencies that rely on generous donor-funded grants distributed annually. “Because we have a robust and streamlined grants process that has been operating for several decades, we are able to manage the CARES funds efficiently and cost effectively,” said Cooley.
Cooley said PCF will provide a totally transparent grant awards process that is publically accessible from the point of application to the names of applicants to the amounts awarded to expenditure review. Once approved, agencies receiving funds are required to submit weekly and monthly reports to demonstrate the funds are being spent applicably and in a timely manner.
Nonprofits believing they qualify are encouraged to make application as soon as possible at www.pinellascf.org/CARES. Agencies needing application support can contact a member of the PCF team at
Grant review and approval will be overseen by grants committees that will meet weekly and be comprised of representatives of the County, PCF Board of Governors, volunteers, experts on community needs, and partners of the Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund.
Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF) was founded in 1969. With over $120 million in charitable assets, PCF seeks effective solutions for Pinellas County’s most challenging social, environmental and educational issues, while supporting the advancement of arts and culture. More than 262 charitable organizations have received $60 million in donor-funded grants to support their community programs. PCF’s mission is made possible thanks to the generosity of donors. For information, call 727-531-0058.