Napa Valley Community Foundation directs $3.5 million to dampen the health and economic impacts of COVID-19

Napa Valley Community Foundation directs $3.5 million to dampen the health and economic impacts of COVID-19

From the Complete coronavirus coverage from the Napa Valley Register, St. Helena Star, and The Weekly Calistogan series
Napa Valley Community Foundation

The Napa Valley Community Foundation says it will release up to $3.5 million from its Disaster Relief Fund to blunt the economic effects of the coronavirus emergency in Napa County.

The money will be distributed over the next eight to 12 weeks to support two work in two areas:

  • Immediate community health needs, such as frontline medical response; childcare for health sector and public safety first-responders; and safety-net services like food for the Valley’s most vulnerable residents.
  • Emergency financial assistance for low to moderate-income workers facing serious financial hardship because of the dramatic disruption of the local economy.

“We will get dollars flowing as quickly as possible to meet the demands of this unprecedented moment,” said foundation President Terence Mulligan, who noted that the Foundation would channel resources through a pre-approved grants system set up to meet the challenges of previous emergencies, including the 2014 South Napa Earthquake and the 2017 Napa Fire Complex.

“Our community has learned through the last two disasters how to prioritize needs, act swiftly and partner intelligently for the most effective results. One benefit of our past experience is that we already have a trusted network of nonprofit partners in place to deliver services and cash aid to those who need it most.”

While applications are not yet being accepted for additional grants, the foundation may invite such applications from nonprofits and public agencies in the weeks ahead. It may also consider a program to assist small business owners unable to qualify for disaster loans from the US Small Business Administration.

Nonprofits receiving disaster funding will coordinate to address unmet needs through Napa Valley Community Organizations Active in Disaster, a collaborative of nonprofits, government and faith-based organizations whose mission is to coordinate and communicate during local disasters or public health emergencies.

The Emergency Financial Assistance program is available for workers who live in Napa County, whose household income is at or below 120% of Area Median Income, and who do not qualify for government-sponsored unemployment or paid family leave benefits. The program will launch no later than March 27, but people can sign up for an appointment now in English or Spanish.

For residents of Calistoga, St. Helena and surrounding areas– please call (707) 965-5010 or email efa@upvalleyfamilycenters.org.

For residents of Napa, Yountville and American Canyon – please call (707) 363-8390 or email efa@onthemovebayarea.org.

Importantly, the EFA program will be administered remotely, through telephone, Facetime and onscreen conversations with applicants.

“We want to be of service to any wage-earner who is facing difficulties at this time, “ said UpValley Family Centers Executive Director Jenny Ocon. “This might mean helping someone apply for EDD, if they can get it, or accessing some of the new Federal aid programs that are being considered.

“Our goal is to help people make it through this very rocky period, no matter their circumstances. To do that, we will award Emergency Financial Assistance judiciously to those who have no other recourse, including many immigrant workers and contract employees who have suddenly found themselves out of a job without a safety net.”

The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund has provided resources for short-term relief and long-term recovery to 25,000 survivors of the 2014 South Napa Earthquake and the 2017 Napa Fire Complex. To date, across these two most recent disasters, the Fund has distributed nearly $18 million in the form of direct financial assistance to survivors, and to pay for relief and recovery services like temporary shelter, meals, medical care, counseling, legal aid, and assistance in navigating insurance claims.

The Fund is managed by NVCF and was established with a $10 million lead gift from Napa Valley Vintners following the 2014 South Napa Earthquake.

To make a tax-deductible gift to the Fund, please visit napavalleycf.org.

Editor’s note: Because of the health implications of the COVID-19 virus, this article is being made available free to all online readers. If you’d like to join us in supporting the mission of local journalism, please visit napavalleyregister.com/members/join/.

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