The Delaware Does More COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, managed by United Way of Delaware, released $163,000 in community investments to help 11 community-based organizations across the state serve Delawareans needing food, shelter, utilities and other critical products and services in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Much of the funding has been directed to assist low-income and/or homeless individuals and families. For the fourth round, the fund received a total of 14 applications requesting $306,060.
To date, the Delaware Does More Rapid Response Fund has released $631,750, assisted 45,100 Delawareans in 13,500 households and provided 257,600 meals. The breakdown of community investments is: housing 36 percent, food 33 percent, utilities 18 percent, transportation 3 percent, technology 5 percent, PPE 3 percent, and other 2 percent.
United Way of Delaware President and Chief Executive Officer Michelle A. Taylor said, “Eight weeks into this crisis, the Delaware Does More Rapid Response Fund remains on the front lines, helping ensure that Delawareans, and especially low-income and homeless Delawareans, are receiving basic things like food and shelter. At the same time, we are turning our attention to ensuring that we are positioned to help meet the long-term needs that will emerge as Delaware works to return to a more normal environment.
In addition to providing for basic needs, we are expanding our Stand By Me program to help a growing number of Delawareans develop long-term financial strategies for their families, and our 2-1-1 Helpline representatives are working extended hours to guide callers to a wide range of social services for everything from access to food and shelter to childcare to mental health counseling. United Way of Delaware is in this for the long haul.”
In response to a 25 percent surge in caller demand, Taylor said UWDE has expanded hours for its 211 Helpline and moved the information and referral service to a seven-day-a-week schedule. Delawareans seeking assistance with COVID-19 and other questions, can now dial 2-1-1 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Local fourth-round recipients of the Delaware Does More Rapid Response Fund are: Boy Scouts of America, $5,000, food security programs and safety supplies statewide; Catholic Charities, $25,000, utilities and housing assistance for families; Children and Families First, $8,500, connectivity and technology for families statewide; Delaware Center for Justice, $12,000, assistance with food, utilities, housing, and transportation for individuals and families statewide; First State Community Action Agency, $25,000, housing interventions for homeless and seniors in Kent and Sussex counties; Food Bank of Delaware, $25,000, distributing 120,000 lbs. of food through pop-up mobile pantry events statewide; Home of the Brave, $5,000, food, utilities and basic needs for families, seniors, homeless and disabled, and veterans statewide; and Latin American Community Center, $25,000, food, housing and utility assistance for families statewide.