Northwest Corner Emergency Response Fund

Northwest Corner COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

Berkshire Taconic and its Northwest Corner Fund have launched the Northwest Corner COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to rapidly deploy flexible resources to nonprofit organizations and trusted social service providers working with residents who are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

A generous $50,000 anonymous matching gift from a BTCF donor advised fund helped establish the emergency fund. Berkshire Taconic's Northwest Corner Fund contributed $50,000, and with its committee's leadership nearly 80 residents in our towns have donated to this effort. All donations will go directly to emergency relief for residents of the Northwest Corner.

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GRANTS FOR NONPROFITS 

RAPID RESPONSE GRANTS

From late March to mid-April, Berkshire Taconic awarded nearly $16,000 in rapid response grants to 20 nonprofits providing services in the nine towns of the Northwest Corner during the pandemic. As these grants were available in the early weeks of the crisis, local organizations were able to better meet the immediate needs of vulnerable residents, including lower-income families, the elderly, veterans, immigrants, people experiencing homelessness, and those who are unemployed or whose work hours have been reduced due to the pandemic. These organizations helped individuals and families cover the costs of essential needs, including food, utilities, rent, diapers, child-care tuition payments, medical supplies and virtual access to counseling services. Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation—our partner in this work—matched our grants, doubling the amount these organizations received.

AHA Afterschool Program: $750 to pay the balance due for the child care of children that attend the North Canaan Elementary School afterschool program to bring relief to families.

Canaan Child Care Center: $2,000 to help cover tuition payments for vulnerable families.

Cornwall Child Center: $1,000 to help cover tuition payments for vulnerable families.

Cornwall Food and Fuel Fund of the Cornwall Food Pantry: $500 to purchase food for Cornwall families in need.

Couch-Pipa VFW Post 6851: $1,000 to assist the Northwest Corner’s older veteran population with basic needs, including food, utilities and medical supplies.

EdAdvance: $500 to provide food and assistance with essential basic needs for vulnerable families, including immigrants, lower-income and homeless residents, and communities of color.

Falls Village Senior Center: $750 to provide assistance with essential basic needs—including rent, food, medication and utilities—for vulnerable seniors and lower-income families in Falls Village.

Family & Children’s Aid: $500 to provide families with gift cards for basic needs to alleviate financial concerns, allowing them to maintain virtual therapy sessions for their children.

Fishes and Loaves: $500 to purchase food and other supplies needed to serve an estimated increase of 20-25% in patrons the food pantry serves due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Geer Village: $1,250 to provide food and care to vulnerable seniors who are currently at home, and offer additional sick time to staff.

Greenwoods Counseling Referrals: $750 to provide lower-income Northwest Corner residents with technological resources—ranging from refurbished computers to increased data plans—to virtually access mental health counseling services. 

Kent Affordable Housing: $750 to assist with rent and utilities for disadvantaged residents who are unemployed or have reduced hours due to the pandemic.

Litchfield County Family Child Care Network: $600 to offset pandemic-related costs incurred by a network of family child-care providers in northwest Connecticut, as well as assist families with day care costs.

McCall Center for Behavioral Health: $750 to provide clients with food and solar-powered cell phone chargers to help them access telemedicine options for substance abuse and mental health treatment.

New Opportunities: $750 to offer rental assistance to vulnerable residents, including the elderly, those without health insurance, and the recently unemployed.

Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association: $500 to purchase personal protective equipment for staff.  

Susan B. Anthony Project: $1,250 to provide victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with food, cleaning and sanitizing supplies, rental assistance, medical and behavioral health copays, formula and diapers and utility assistance.

Town of Warren Social Services: $500 to provide basic needs for residents, including food, diapers, medical supplies, hygiene items and gift cards for grocery deliveries, as well as print a newsletter to share these services with seniors and at-risk neighbors.

United Church of Christ in Cornwall: $500 to help residents in crisis during the pandemic, including rent subsidies, heating, food, medication and utilities.

Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires: $750 to provide financial assistance for essential basic needs for income-qualified northwest Litchfield County residents, including immigrants and lower-income individuals.

 

 

RELIEF GRANTS

In May, Berkshire Taconic provided close to $60,000 in operational support to 13 nonprofits as they strive to continue their missions under evolving COVID-19 guidelines. This funding is providing services for youth and children, mental and physical health programs, library safety modifications, emergency assistance, education, arts and culture, and essential needs. Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation—our partner in this work—matched our grants, doubling the amount these organizations received.

AHA Afterschool Program: $1,250 to install a child-friendly sink and a window that will allow for better air flow in the classroom.

Canaan Child Care Center: $4,275 to support renovations that comply with CDC-recommended isolation and physical space configurations.

David M. Hunt Library: $1,750 to renovate the book sale room into a multipurpose room for patron use that complies with current physical distancing restrictions.

Fishes and Loaves: $2,500 to support operating expenses due to increased demand for food.

Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center: $4,675 to modify all vehicles to install protective barriers.

Greenwoods Counseling Referrals: $4,575 to support operating expenses to maintain client access to mental health treatment via telehealth.

Housatonic Child Care Center: $12,250 to support operating expenses and accommodate safer physical distancing in the facility.

Housatonic Youth Service Bureau: $10,000 to support operating expenses.

Kent Memorial Library: $3,150 to support the cost of sanitation and safety improvements.

Litchfield County Fire Chiefs Emergency Plan: $2,000 to support the purchase of a replacement command/first responder vehicle.

Northwest Connecticut Arts Council: $2,000 to support the Artist Relief Fund, a fund created to assist individual creative professionals in need of financial support.

Northwestern Connecticut Community College: $7,500 to support the Student Emergency Fund.

SOAR: $3,350 to support operating expenses of ongoing virtual programming for Salisbury Central School students.

 

 

NEIGHBOR-TO-NEIGHBOR ASSISTANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS

Berkshire Taconic established its network of Neighbor-to-Neighbor funds in 2009 as a direct response to the economic recession that resulted in high unemployment and severe hardship for many residents throughout our region. Working through close partnerships with social service agencies in the Northwest Corner and our surrounding counties, the initiative offers emergency assistance to residents facing temporary financial distress.

When the pandemic struck, Neighbor-to-Neighbor assistance was already in place and ready to support residents in need. Our Northwest Corner COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund quickly deployed resources to our trusted social service providers, who directed the funds where they are needed most.

We have awarded $48,500 to northwest Litchfield County residents during the COVID-19 crisis thanks to donations to our emergency response fund. These grants have been utilized largely for housing and associated costs, including utilities, repairs and security deposits. What’s more, thanks to a group of generous donors, dozens of student families in the Region One School District received grocery cards when meal delivery was interrupted over spring break.

Individuals in crisis may contact social service agencies to submit an application on their behalf.

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