With so many vulnerable communities being impacted by COVID-19, the Opus Foundation® quickly mobilized an emergency response to fund nonprofits in all of our markets serving those communities and its people.
As nonprofits quickly pivoted their work to serve the greatest needs of their communities in the most efficient and safe ways, the Opus Foundation responded by broadening guidelines and expediting funding timelines to support these crucial efforts.
In close partnership with Opus leadership and our local associate-driven Action Teams, organizations were chosen based on previous or current relationships and the way they are adapting to best support the needs of the people they serve. Some examples include:
- Many food shelves and food pantries have moved from a client-choice model to pre-packaged meals, while seeing a decrease in food donations and volunteers.
- Afterschool and early education programs are continuing to provide meals (delivery or provided onsite) and are delivering learning activities online for youth. And in some cases, they're providing basic needs and free childcare for the children of essential workers.
- The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is opening several of its facilities as a place of shelter for the homeless and displaced individuals to help with social distancing in homeless shelters.
Nonprofits receiving Impact Fund Grants were:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City – As Clubs are closed, the organization continues to provide two meals a day through on-site pick-up and delivery, routine check-ins to members and families to ensure safety and well-being and activity and learning resources to all members.
- Cardinal Ritter Senior Services (St. Louis) –Seniors living in Cardinal Ritter Senior Services' facilities are some of the most vulnerable and at-risk (many low-income). Now they are living in isolation and unable to stock up on food, personal care items, cleaning supplies or prescriptions. Cardinal has had to drastically change the way they care for their residents to keep them safe, including the way they provide meal service, revoking volunteers, providing social services, purchasing new equipment and increasing cleaning and sanitizing services.
- Child Crisis AZ (Phoenix) – Child Crisis Arizona (CCA) offers the only emergency children's shelter in Maricopa County. They are partnering with the Department of Child Safety to support families and respond to new child abuse or neglect reports and ensure academic progress for school-aged children living in their shelters.
- Christopher House (Chicago) – Christopher House (CH) serves high-needs families, providing early childhood education and school services. While they are shut down, CH continues to provide food and hygiene products to families in need, virtual counseling to children and social work services to families as well as personalized online learning.
- Denver Inner City Parish – Denver Inner City Parish (DICP) is a social service agency distributing food, diapers, hygiene kits and basic need packs to low-income individuals, older adults and other vulnerable populations.
- Greater Chicago Food Depository – The Greater Chicago Food Depository is co-leading a collaborative effort with the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools and other local groups to provide food to the people most in need.
- Lutheran Child & Family Services (Indianapolis) – Lutheran Child & Family Services is significantly ramping up food pantry operations and adding additional shifts as they moved from client-choice model to pre-packaged, boxed food with curbside pickups.
- Project for Pride in Living (Minneapolis) – Project for Pride in Living (PPL) has over 1,500 rental units across the Twin Cities and nearly half are supportive housing units reserved for households impacted by homelessness, disability, chemical dependency or mental illness. PPL will work to keep all housed and supported. In addition, they are working to scale full menu of support services remotely so they can reach those most vulnerable and in need.
- Project Iowa – Project Iowa's workforce development program will work to double the number they serve and support current participants as they navigate unemployment issues.
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul (Phoenix) – Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) serves primarily the working poor and those experiencing homelessness. Their first goal has been to increase the number of meals they serve a day to ensure families do not go hungry, and the second goal is to increase support of rent and utility payments.
- YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities (Minneapolis) – As the largest non-profit childcare provider in MN, YMCA has opened their centers at significantly lower cost or no cost for families of essential workers across the Twin Cities. As their facilities are all closed, they are also ramping up critical services to older adults and vulnerable youth and families.
Nonprofits receiving Opportunity Fund Grants are:
- A New Leaf (Phoenix)
- Beyond Housing (St. Louis)
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
- Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
- Cradles to Crayons Chicago
- Denver Community Ventures
- DuPagePads (Chicago)
- Food Bank of Iowa
- Food For Thought (Denver)
- Freedom for Youth Ministries (Des Moines)
- Giving the Basics (Kansas City)
- Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana
- Hart Pantry (Phoenix)
- Harvesters - The Community Food Network (Kansas City)
- Horizon House (Indianapolis)
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation (St. Louis)
- Junior Achievement of Greater St. Louis
- Lattof YMCA (Chicago)
- Loaves & Fishes – Naperville (Chicago)
- Meals from the Heartland (Des Moines)
- Metro Caring (Denver)
- Metro Meals on Wheels (Minneapolis)
- New Pathways for Youth (Phoenix)
- Operation Breakthrough, Inc. (Kansas City)
- reStart, Inc. (Kansas City)
- Second Harvest Heartland (Minneapolis)
- Second Helpings (Indianapolis)
- St. Louis Area Foodbank (St. Louis)
- STEP - St. Louis Park Emergency Program Inc. (Minneapolis)
- Tempe Community Action Agency (Phoenix)
- The Link (Minneapolis)
- Wheeler Mission Ministries (Indianapolis)
- Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS) (Des Moines)
- Youthlink (Minneapolis)
The Opus Foundation is building community for a better tomorrow by supporting projects and programs that make our communities better places to live, work and raise families through grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of early childhood education, youth development, workforce development, community revitalization and pressing/emerging needs. Read more about the Foundation's work.