HealthPath funding helps organizations support housing and shelter, food access, caregiving services, and overall healthcare
Earlier this year, the HealthPath Foundation awarded grants for up to $10,000 to organizations addressing community needs in the areas of housing and shelter, food access, caregiving services, and overall healthcare in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this grantee spotlight, we feature five organizations that received funding to support food access and housing and shelter needs in their communities.
During the pandemic, situations of domestic violence have heightened, and victims are having to stay at home for longer periods with their abusers. The Artemis Center utilized HealthPath funding to provide survivors of domestic violence with transportation support, food assistance, and a place to stay as they seek refuge from dangerous situations at home.
One survivor recently lost her job due to COVID-19 and was forced to move herself and her children back in with her abuser. Soon after moving back in, the survivor experienced severe abuse, and at times in front of her children. She reached out to the Artemis Center for help, and an advocate was able to provide her and her children with a hotel stay and assistance with food, gas, and personal hygiene products while she awaited legal proceedings against her abuser. The advocate also provided the survivor with window and door alarms for her mother’s home, where she would eventually stay with her children.
With HealthPath’s support, Artemis was also able to purchase much-needed PPE for advocates working with survivors in the community.
Caracole, Inc. After losing a longstanding donor for the agency’s Client Assistance Fund (CAF), Caracole, Inc. was forced to halt funding for programs that provide emergency relief for HIV+ and at-risk clients facing issues with housing, utilities, and food access. HealthPath’s financial support allowed Caracole to re-establish the CAF to help clients directly impacted by COVID-19.
One Caracole client, who is HIV+, had been homeless for more than two years, sleeping outside or in abandoned buildings. Once the pandemic hit, the client connected with Caracole to seek housing support, but quickly realized he owed several hundred dollars in utilities, which prevented him from setting up utilities at his new apartment that he was matched with through one of Caracole’s housing support programs. Fortunately, his housing specialist was able to access funds from the CAF to pay off the bills and get him into a safe and stable home.
Ohio State Legal Services Association The Ohio State Legal Services Association (OSLSA) utilized HealthPath’s support to respond to the increased need they have experienced from many community members facing legal issues around housing and access to benefits and unemployment during the pandemic. Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS) was able to continue with critical work like helping homeless youth connect with benefits for housing, helping seniors victimized by physical and financial abuse, and preventing evictions for several community members.
During the pandemic, several SEOLS clients experienced wage garnishments due to past financial issues. Losing 25% of a minimum wage paycheck during an already difficult economy is significant for many of the individuals and families SEOLS serves. Through the support of increased funds for the SEOLS program, these clients will have access to legal aid to help avert these issues.
Scioto Christian Ministry/Scioto County Homeless Shelter Homelessness during the pandemic has become prevalent for families and individuals who were already facing financial hardship. The grant from HealthPath enabled the Scioto County Homeless Shelter to secure an annex facility to allow for proper social distancing and to accommodate overflow during the winter months. The funds also went toward supporting clients in many ways through PPE supplies, utility bills paid, groceries, etc.
An out-of-town family received support from the Shelter after traveling to Portsmouth to care for an ill relative. When they arrived, they learned quickly that they wouldn’t be able to stay with the family member who lived in a senior citizen community due to COVID-19 restrictions. With no additional money for a hotel room, they stayed overnight in their car, but fortunately were directed to the Shelter where they would stay for a few more nights while the family handled the passing of their relative.
YWCA Mahoning Valley The YWCA of Mahoning Valley serves low income, disabled individuals, and families on the verge of homelessness. Through funding from HealthPath, the YWCA was able to continue providing support services to clients experiencing job layoffs, breaks in mental health, relapses in drug and alcohol recovery, and delays in vital services like unemployment.
One of their clients was on the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction living in YWCA’s transitional housing program located in Youngstown, Ohio. During the shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic, the client’s recovery resources had to close. YWCA case managers stepped in to give the client the support she needed to return to treatment once things opened back up. Today, the client continues her road to recovery and has returned to her housing unit.