With the COVID-19 pandemic apparently subsiding, but its ramifications for housing and hunger continuing, the lates round of 100WomenStrong Emergency COVID-19 Grants are focused on housing.
The giving circle has announced $75,500 in emergency funding to Loudoun nonprofits, a tenth round of COVID relief funding bringing the group’s total pandemic relief giving to $763,373.
“One of the biggest and longest lasting issues created by the pandemic is the inability for millions of Americans to pay for their housing. Here in Loudoun County, this is exacerbated by a lack of affordable housing,” stated Kirsten Langhorne, chair of 100WomenStrong’s affordable housing committee. She pointed to a report from the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, the latest to show that many people in Loudoun cannot afford housing.
“The report shows that the overall median rent in Loudoun County is $1,674. Only three of the top 10 occupations— electricians, office clerks and customer service representatives—can afford to rent here and that is only if they are earning at the top of their fields,” Langhorne stated. “Supporting nonprofits that help with rental assistance is a top priority for 100WomenStrong. We have created a working group to study the issue and hope to work with the County and other organizations as they study it and evaluate potential solutions.”
In this round of funding, five nonprofits were awarded grants.
Loudoun Cares was granted $15,000 to distribute directly to renters, combining efforts with faith-based groups and non-profits to provide up to $2,300 per family.
Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers was granted $7,500 to provide their services to seniors, adults with disabilities and chronic illness, homebound individuals and families needing food, transportation or medicines from pharmacies, as well as home repairs and connection to the community.
The Salvation Army Loudoun Corps was granted $18,000 to continue their COVID emergency feeding program and fill the void for Feed the Hunger of Loudoun program through the end of July.
St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church was granted $20,000 to provide rental assistance to help keep families in their homes.
And Tree of Life Ministries was granted $15,000 to support the Transitional Housing Program to provide an affordable, safe place for women-led households in crisis, to meet heightened demand due to COVID-19.
In total, 100WomenStrong has disbursed 63 COVID-19 emergency response grants to nonprofit organizations that serve Loudoun County. They also purchased and distributed PPE for first responders early in the pandemic. And the group’s “Pay it Forward” Direct Assistance loan program in partnership with Northern Virginia Family Service helps area residents cover basic expenses.
For more information about eligibility requirements and an application for the Pay it Forward Loan Program, visit the Northern Virginia Family Services website at nvfs.org/payitforwardapp.
100WomenStrong, founded in 2008, is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. For more information visit onehundredwomenstrong.org or contact Pam Ray at Pam@OneHundredWomenStrong.org.