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Helena Area COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund moves to phase two of funding

Posted at 5:56 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 22:47:27-04

HELENA — The Helena Area Community Foundation (HACF), and the United Way of the Lewis & Clark Area (UWLCA) have announced the second phase of emergency relief grant funding through the Helena Area COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

Titled "Rebound and Reopen," the new round of funding aims to help organizations adapt to new coronavirus guidelines and reopen their in-person services.

“We saw during the first round of funding there were all these nonprofits that didn’t quite meet the earlier criteria,,” said Emily McVey, UWLCA executive director. “Nonprofits are starting to look to the future. How do we reopen? They’re starting to make plans.”

Organizers of the fund say adapting to a partially reopened state has presented unique challenges for organizations. Namely, how they provide services while protecting public health.

“How they’re going to address that is a big challenge and especially for nonprofits who gain their revenue off of organizational activities where people come together,” said Emily Flemming, HACF executive director.

The previous round of funding was focused on those with urgent needs who were serving vulnerable populations. In April, 13 Helena area nonprofits received the first rounds of funding totaling $36,000 in grants.

The new round’s criteria opens it up to a lot more nonprofits.

The nonprofit’s needs can fall under: Those who are having trouble meeting usual demand due to decline of revenue related to COVID-19. Organizations who are altering their program delivery models to reduce personal contact. Those who require financial support to retool their organization or reopen their doors. Places who have an urgent need related to food, housing, transportation, childcare, or healthcare access.

Eligible organizations include nonprofits in Lewis & Clark, Broadwater, and Jefferson Counties. The application for phase two will be released on Friday.

Priority is given to organizations who serve vulnerable populations, serve a large number of clients, or whose organizations require significant operating environment changes to continue their work.

People can still donate to the Helena Area COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.