A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

CAAs Taking ACTION in Response to COVID-19 (5/4 edition)

Also see: Special Editions of VirtualCAP RoundUP

sCommunity Action Agencies Taking ACTION in Response to COVID-19, April 10

Brighten Your Days! Helpful Medicine for a Difficult Time, March 26

Today's featured items

NPR Highlights Community Action’s Changing Terrain with COVID-19

Community Action Programs Fighting A New 'War On Poverty'
Wisconsin Public Radio - Madison, WI – Some Wisconsin nonprofits that traditionally help those in poverty have expanded the definition of poverty to help more people through the COVID-19 pandemic…We see people coming to us for help that may have not ever come to Couleecap or any other social service agency," said executive director Hetti Brown…With the help of area foundations and other nonprofit fundraising groups, Couleecap started a short-term cash assistance program to help people who have temporarily lost jobs or had their hours cut.  It’s meant to be a source of cash until they can access unemployment and other benefits from the government.

...with more people now experiencing temporary loses in employment, income guidelines for Couleecap have been relaxed to ensure people qualify for the new local fund.  The fund is now available to people who earned 250 percent of the federal poverty rate — for a family of four, that’s $65,500 per year or nearly $32,000 for someone who is single…

[George] Hinton [CEO of the Social Development Commission] said SDC is evaluating whether to create new programs, while working to maintain existing programs, to help those in poverty.  "We may produce new programming or expand current programs in response to the community’s need," Hinton said.  "Mental health will be a major issue for people impacted by this crisis."

Examples of Wisconsin CAA COVID-19 Efforts

Maine CAAs Chosen by Governor to Run $5M COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

Bangor Daily News - Bangor, ME – Gov. Mills and MaineHousing have entrusted the 10 Maine Community Action Agencies (CAAs) to process and deliver a COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, which will allow renters to apply for a one-time $500 payment to their landlords in order to avoid eviction for the month of that payment, at this point April or May.

With only a little over a week notice to prepare for a new, $5 million dollar program, the CAA leadership was able to commit to running the program without being paid the usual and customary administrative fees...MaineHousing is funding the program using $5 million from the Housing Opportunities for Maine (HOME) Fund, after the Governor asked them for a plan to protect Mainers.  The Community Action Agencies, who partner with MaineHousing on a number of programs, were asked if they had the ability to turn around the funds to pay landlords very quickly, and they responded by making staffing flexible during this time when many other programs are already working differently, but continue…

Learn more from one of Maine’s ten CAAs
COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, York County CAA

KY State Association to Distribute $2M+ from Kentucky COVID-19 Fund

Gov. Beshear announces new project amidst protests
Times Tribune - Corbin, KY – Gov. Beshear announced that the team Kentucky fund has seen $1.9 million total in donations thus far.  The state announced a partnership with Community Action Kentucky.   The two will expand on the infrastructure already set in place by Community Action Kentucky in effectively using the funds to help as many Kentuckians as possible...

Learn more

Team Kentucky
Community Action Kentucky

CAA Creates COVID-19 Express Business Loan Fund

Brightpoint Development Fund offers COVID-19 Express Loan for businesses
April newsletter - Indiana Community Action Association – Small businesses have been hit especially hard during the global pandemic.  Due to the high demand for financial relief, the Brightpoint Development Fund (BDF) has created a COVID-19 Express Loan for businesses in northeast Indiana impacted by the pandemic.

Businesses in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Grant, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, St. Joseph, Steuben, Wells and Whitley counties are eligible for loan funds up to $20,000 with zero upfront costs.  Immediate deferred payment options are available…

How to apply
The BDF COVID-19 Express Loan Fund features the loan application and other required forms that can be submitted through a secure upload link.

Partnership with Delivery Service Using Volunteer Drivers

WeTopeka freely delivers items to Topeka-area families in need
WIBW - Topeka, KS – Community Action, Inc. today announced a new partnership to launch WeTopeka Essentials Delivery (or “WeTopeka” for short), a new temporary service aimed at providing resource relief to those adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

WeTopeka is a volunteer delivery service which delivers groceries and essential items straight to their doorstep of people and families in need, at no additional cost...

Learn more about WeTopeka

Masks for the Masses Using Volunteers & Donated Material

Community Action, Inc. Face Mask Drive
Community Action, Inc. - Punxsutawney, PA – Are you looking for a way to help others during this challenging time?   If your answer is yes, Community Action, Inc. has an idea for you!  Community Action, Inc. is seeking volunteers in Clarion and Jefferson Counties to participate in a community project making cloth face masks to be distributed to our neighbors in need.  By working together to help provide face masks to others, we can promote the health and safety of our community!  Everyone can contribute to this effort - “People helping People.”

...If making masks isn’t one of your talents, we also need assistance in collecting and distributing materials and completed face masks.  Or, maybe you can just help us identify our neighbors in need of face masks.  Through working together – at a distance – we will be able to get through this crisis.

Previous Blogs
  • Service Delivery Using Drive-Through Access & Enclosed Office Suites
  • Telephone Appointments to Help Fill Out the 2020 Census
  • Financial Fitness Events using Facebook Live
  • Drop-In Center Continues Services to the Homeless
  • Three Types of Support for Food & Nutrition Assistance
  • Call Center created through community collaboration
  • Tech support to facilitate communication with staff
  • Child care for medical workers and first responders
  • Motels helping shelter the homeless
  • CAA produces "Stay at Home" video

Submit a Comment