Citing the speed at which the COVID-19 crisis is depleting funds of non-profit organizations that help the community’s most vulnerable citizens — staffed by people whose important work doesn’t allow them to work from home — Duluth’s Ordean Foundation is allocating emergency grants this week.
“Those on the front lines of combatting this pandemic in Duluth have an urgent need for additional resources, and they can’t wait until next month for help,” said Don Ness, Executive Director of the Ordean Foundation.
The foundation’s board of directors took three emergency actions:
. Created a $150,000 Emergency Grant program and, just days after the creation of the fund, checks are being sent to American Indian Community Housing Organization, CHUM, Life House, YWCA and Safe Haven.
. Authorized immediate disbursement of $1 million of previously approved 2020 grant awards to 22 non-profit organizations addressing issues related to poverty. Historically, the Ordean Foundation has allocated funds on a quarterly basis.
. Retroactively made the 2020 grant awards for general operating expenses. Several of the awards had been for specific purposes, but the foundation is now allowing funds to be used as organizations see fit to address this crisis.
“These long-time, dedicated community partners are continuing to provide full services to vulnerable populations, despite the risks to their own health,” said Ness.
The timing couldn’t be better, said CHUM Executive Director Lee Stuart.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Ordean Foundation to help our shelter, drop-in center, food shelf, street outreach and Steve O’Neil Apartments provide essential services for highly vulnerable people,” said Stuart. “The foundation’s grant will help us ease their anxiety and make sure they have the basic necessities in a warm and welcoming environment.”
The Ordean Foundation, based in downtown Duluth, assists organizations that provide services related to food, shelter and clothing, as well as medical, educational and youth services. More information is at Ordean.org.