December 8, 2020

Howard County Funders Announce $201,000 in COVID-19 Emergency Grants

HoCoRespond has awarded more than $600,000 to Howard County nonprofits in 2020

The Community Foundation of Howard CountyHorizon Foundation,  United Way of Central Maryland and Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County today announced $201,000 in emergency grants to 15 Howard County nonprofits addressing COVID-19 needs. The collaborative effort that began in March, called HoCoRespond, has now awarded 46 grants totaling $608,500 in the last eight months to 34 nonprofits meeting food security, housing, childcare and healthcare needs.

“Throughout this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has created great challenges and uncertainty for our residents, but our response has demonstrated how this county unites during its toughest times, looks out for one another, and commits to collective action,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “HoCoRespond continues to have a significant impact – supporting our most vulnerable neighbors in need who are facing the continued economic challenges of the pandemic. Howard County is truly lucky to have devoted organizations who are determined to ensure our residents have the food on their tables, money to pay bills, and vital support services during this time.”

The $201,000 in COVID-19 emergency grants will go to the following organizations serving Howard County:

  • The Arc of Howard County, Inc., $10,000, to purchase equipment and supplies to support fitness and mental wellbeing of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and frontline staff from impacts related to COVID-19
  • Bet Yeladim, Inc., $20,000 to support Bet Yeladim Preschool’s Child Care Tuition Scholarship Program
  • Bridges to Housing Stability, Inc., $5,000, to provide basic supplies, food and emergency financial assistance to client households that have been destabilized by COVID-19
  • Center for Children, Inc., $10,000, to provide telehealth services to 147 poverty level families currently enrolled in their Care Coordination Program in Howard County
  • Community Action Council of Howard County, $25,000, to provide utility assistance for Howard County residents experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID pandemic
  • Equity4HC, $15,000, supporting emergency relief efforts that support disadvantaged students, families and seniors by providing healthy food, hygiene assistance and essential supplies through a partnership with Columbia Community Care
  • Feed Howard County, $15,000, to support the initiative to help feed Howard County families who are food insecure, while at the same time supporting Howard County restaurants
  • Grassroots Crisis Intervention Services, Inc., $18,000, to provide motel shelter for unstably-housed Howard County families that are not eligible for traditional shelter services but are at risk of homelessness
  • Howard County Autism Society, $5,000, to support individuals with autism and their families through Respite and Emergency financial assistance, along with support for increased social and emotional supports for the Howard County autism community, especially for non-English speakers
  • Howard County Conservancy, $6,384, to support monthly Schools Out scholarships providing for a full day of programming and academic support during the Wednesday Schools Out Programs for 40 Howard County students
  • Indian Cultural Association of Howard County, $10,000, to support pop-up food pantries sustaining food insecure Howard County residents with food staples, fresh food options, and prepared meals
  • Just Living Advocacy, $10,000, to support child care sustainability initiatives for parents by providing Howard County residents with financial assistance for child care support
  • Legal Aid Bureau, Inc., $25,000, to provide education, advocacy and legal services to Howard County residents facing eviction due to financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Maryland Fuel Fund, $15,000, to provide utility assistance through the Maryland Fuel Fund for senior and single parent households in Howard County experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The Village in Howard County, $6,270, to provide financial assistance and technology support to Howard County seniors in order to assist in maintaining housing independence, along with social and mental health well-being

“The HoCoRespond Fund is a clear example of the power of partnerships to drive positive change. In this time of uncertainty and instability, collaboration is essential,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland. “We’re proud to be part of this united effort to help Howard County nonprofits meet the immediate and long-term needs of the people and neighborhoods they serve.”

On December 6, the Howard County Health Department reported 8,815 confirmed cases of COVID-19. We are in a heightened state of alert regarding COVID-19 and the number of cases is projected to continue to rise, putting great strain on frontline nonprofits and health services across the county.

“We are not out of this public health and economic crisis yet. There is still a great need to support our community during these tough times,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of the Horizon Foundation. “We are working hard to respond to those needs and to uplift Howard County residents as best we can.”

The HoCoRespond funders are continuing to coordinate fundraising to provide critical resources to nonprofits in Howard County, and hope to undertake a fourth round of funding in the new year.

“The impact of COVID-19 on our community has been challenging for some, and devastating for others,” said Beverly White-Seals, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Howard County. “We can’t begin to thank enough, all of the generous members of our community who have invested in HoCoRespond to help and support those who are struggling with the impact of COVID. You are true philanthropists! Whether it’s food assistance, delinquent rental or mortgage payments, childcare, mental health or a plethora of other issues, we’re here to help. We are in an unprecedented crisis, but we are so gratified at how the community has come together to take care of one another.”

Those looking to help can donate to the following COVID-19 emergency funds:

  • The Community Foundation of Howard County has its Howard County Community Relief Fund to address ongoing emergencies in Howard County. Members of the community and fund holders at the foundation are invited to donate.
  • The United Way of Central Maryland has established the COVID-19 Community Fund for Central Maryland to support the community, and in particular, support those who operate on the frontlines of providing help and resources to those in need. Community members are invited to donate.​
  • The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County has established the WGC COVID-19 Fund  to address unprecedented COVID-19 community needs. WGC donors and members of the community are invited to donate.

“We are proud to be part of a community that has continued to step up to support our friends and neighbors during this very challenging year” said Barb Van Winkle, chair of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. “We are utilizing our unique strengths to make a bigger difference together than we might otherwise make alone.”