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Memes, flip phones: North Philly tries new tools in fight against coronavirus

April 13, 2020

Memes, flip phones: North Philly tries new tools in fight against coronavirus

A woman wearing a surgical mask makes her way past a mural on the west side of the Save-A-Lot store at 22nd and Lehigh. (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
A woman wearing a surgical mask makes her way past a mural on the west side of the Save-A-Lot store at 22nd and Lehigh. (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

 

First, preschool director Michele Ayala and her teachers delivered tablet computers with six months of free internet access to the homes of the 133 preschoolers who attend Trinidad Head Start in Fairhill.

Then Ayala set up an app to send videos to the kids and communicate with parents. When that was a big hit, she launched multiple daily Zoom lessons for her “babies” so they wouldn’t lose any of the learning they’d been absorbing since September.

“We get videos and messages and pictures from our kiddos saying how much they miss us and are sad and they want to go back to school,” said Ayala, whose center is one of four operated by the community development organization Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha.

“We write them back, ‘This is just temporary. It’s for us to be safe. This is what is needed right now so when everything is normal, everything is safe for you to go back to school. We’ve got to practice being safe. We’ve got to make the right choices,’” Ayala said.

Ayala and her staff aren’t alone in dedicating long hours and trying new methods to help the city and its vulnerable residents weather the coronavirus lockdown.

Teachers, health care workers, elected officials, grocery store operators, delivery drivers, community organizers and many volunteers have worked overtime for weeks to encourage everyone to comply with Mayor Jim Kenney’s stay-at-home order — and make it feasible for them to do so.

Figures released by the city underline the importance of staying at home, especially in areas like Trinidad’s Fairhill community, where higher rates of chronic health problems, layered with deep social inequities, present the perfect storm for a pandemic.

While the scarcity of testing masks the true number of infected people, a city map counting positive tests for coronavirus in each ZIP code shows a high rate in the school’s 19133 district. Nearly 37% of the 247 people tested in the zip tested positive for COVID-19 infection as of April 9.

Measured by income, the North Philadelphia neighborhood ranks as the city’s poorest, with many residents who do not have access to health care or stable housing, other factors that increase vulnerability to the disease. About half the population is Latinx and a large number do not speak English as a first language.

The virus may be spreading more in those areas because the residents can’t afford to stay at home from work or haven’t absorbed the message about sheltering in place, because of language barriers or because they don’t know anyone who has gotten sick and have not internalized the risks, public health experts say.

“I’m very, very frustrated,” Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez said.

The councilmember said she heard from doctors at Temple University Hospital that they were seeing a high number of positive tests among Latinx residents, even as her constituents were reporting egregious cases of people gathering outdoors in large groups.

On the last Thursday of March, mild weather drew dozens of people to Waterloo Playground in the West Kensington-Fairhill area, Quiñones-Sánchez said. “They cut one of the gates and there were like 50 kids playing in there, kids and adults. The neighbors were all sending me clips from their cameras, texting me, inboxing me.”

People broke the fence at Waterloo Playground on North Howard Street after the city closed recreation facilities to promote social distancing. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The councilmember said she has been inundated with messages on every imaginable app and social media platform since the coronavirus crisis reached Philadelphia. Many of the calls and messages come from Kensington, where drug users and dealers still cluster on street corners, ignoring the police who periodically drive by with bullhorns, telling them to disperse.

“The residents who live there are like, ‘I can’t go outside. All these people can be contaminated.’ What’s already a bad situation becomes untenable,” Quiñones-Sánchez said. “You can imagine the frustrated calls that I’ve gotten.”

 

The need to comply with the city’s orders is particularly urgent in areas where widespread chronic health problems make residents more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 symptoms. In Hunting Park-Fairhill, 23% of residents are in poor physical health compared to 14% citywide, according to a 2019 report by the city’s Department of Public Health.

Nearby Upper Kensington had the bottom ranking for health outcomes in the report, with similar figures to Fairhill for several health conditions.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley has said the city is not using the ZIP code data to target public health outreach since the virus is present in all areas and services are being delivered citywide.

“This virus does not discriminate,” Farley said during a recent news conference. “The virus is in every neighborhood. It’s in every population. Everyone needs to take our recommendations seriously to avoid getting the infection or passing on the infection.”

But in recent days the city has released data showing that African Americans are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Thirty-eight percent of coronavirus deaths in the city were people who identified as African American while 24% percent were white. The city does not know the racial identity of 36%.

About 44% of the city’s population is Black and 34% non-Hispanic white.

Councilmember Cindy Bass, whose district encompasses majority-Black areas with high rates of people testing positive, described the situation as the tragic outgrowth of longstanding inequalities.

She said poverty and a lack of access to health care, a feeling of distance from the pandemic and longstanding cultural practices may be leading people to ignore the stay-at-home order and risk infection.

“In the African American community we have been known to go to work when we’re sick, we’ve been known to go to work when there’s a tragedy. Like, ‘I don’t have time to worry about coronavirus. I’ve got to worry about keeping the lights on. I’ve got to worry about keeping a roof over my head,’” Bass said. “Coronavirus seems far away, very distant, like, ‘I’ll worry about that when it gets here.’ And we just can’t do that.”

She wondered why the ZIP code data wasn’t playing a bigger role in shaping the city’s strategy for containing the pandemic.

“Why wouldn’t we target an area that has a lot of people who are being affected at a higher rate than other areas throughout the city?” Bass said. “What’s the use of data if you’re not using it to make decisions and to move resources?”

Tailoring the message

One strategy to encourage people to stay at home and practice social distancing is to have charismatic, beloved public figures put out the message in a way that resonates with residents, said Carolyn Cannuscio, a social epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania. She cited the example of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who made a funny video of herself doing various activities at home and internet memes showing her looming over the city, blocking entrances to parks and telling people to stay home.

Mayor Lightfoot #StayHomeSaveLives

@chicagosmayor

Just a friendly reminder from your Auntie to stay home.

View image on Twitter

That’s the kind of creative approach City Council could take using a $400,000 appropriation for social distancing messaging approved last week as part of an $85.4 million emergency spending bill.

Quiñones-Sánchez and others said messages need to be expressed in everyday terms that people understand, rather than vague, technical terms like “flattening the curve.”

The councilmember said she envisions robocalls targeted to senior citizens or other vulnerable residents and printed materials like postcard mailers in multiple languages. Others at City Hall have begun experimenting with memes.

On a conference call organized by Temple University’s Center for Urban Bioethics, an African American community leader from Nicetown urged officials to tailor their messaging to young people, Quiñones-Sánchez said.

“She was like, ‘With all due respect, when you say social distancing, I’m not sure my community gets this. We need to talk about physically staying away from each other.’ Social distancing may be a little too fancy and not getting to the point with some folks,” the councilmember said.

Above and beyond the messaging challenges, there are cognitive biases to battle in all parts of the city.

Social scientists call one type of misperception of risk the “availability heuristic,” Cannuscio said.“If people don’t have an example from their own lives that’s accessible to them of, for example, someone who’s sick with COVID-19, it feels like such an abstract and remote threat that it’s hard to activate the protective mechanisms that would really get people to engage in social distancing,” she said.

Another phenomenon at work is “optimism bias,” where people underestimate risk or think they’ll fare better in a difficult situation than others, Cannuscio said. People are also bad at estimating physical distances, and may think they’re six feet apart when they’re actually closer, she said.

Cannuscio said she’s looked out the windows of her home next to Taney Park, on the east bank of the Schuylkill River, and been upset to see her neighbors and others picnicking despite the city’s social distancing order. It’s vital to remind everyone about the importance of staying at home. But at the same time, she said, there’s also a place for compassion for people fulfilling an “intense need to connect” during an extremely stressful time.

“We’re asking people to change so many behaviors in such a short period of time,” she said.

Cannuscio said it’s important to engineer environments in ways that establish clear social norms and make it easier for people to comply. At her local farmer’s market, Cannuscio annoyed a neighbor by suggesting they stagger their visits into a vendor’s crowded tent, but by the following week the market had set up a handwashing station and drawn lines on the ground six feet apart to encourage social distancing without conflict, she said.

Likewise, people need to have the ability to follow the rules, said Dr. Kathleen Reeves, the director of Temple’s Center for Urban Bioethics.

Children need educational opportunities or other activities they can do at home, like those being provided by Ayala and her staff at Trinidad preschool. Elderly people may need flip phones to maintain social contacts if they don’t know how to use computers, and many people need to get nutrition without going out, Reeves said.

After participants on the center’s conference call expressed concerns about infection rates among the Latinx community, the group arranged to print 10,000 flyers about social distancing in Spanish and English. Cousins Supermarket inserted the flyers into customers’ grocery bags and Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha posted them in the windows of corner stores.

Some North Philadelphia communities are understandably wary about public health information they hear. They are more likely to trust information received through community partners who they know well, such as APM, Nicetown CDC and local churches, Reeves said.

Reeves said the center is coordinating with community organizations to deliver 300 bags of groceries weekly, especially to households with senior citizens and children. Temple is funding the deliveries with help from donors, she said. Separately, Cousins Supermarket donated and delivered groceries to 60 seniors in coordination with APM.

“If you have folks who are food-insecure, and you’re telling everyone to stay home, but they have no food, well, that’s not a reasonable thing to ask,” Reeves said. “Trying to help people have the tools they need to enact what we’re asking them to do is also very important.”

Philadelphia Foundation PHL COVID-19 Fund Press Release

April 10, 2020

PHL COVID-19 FUND RESPONDS TO URGENT COMMUNITY NEEDS, MORE THAN $12 MILLION PLEDGED TO DATE

PHILADELPHIA – The PHL COVID-19 Fund today announced distribution of funds totaling more than $2 million in its first round of grants to 44 non-profit organizations serving on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis. With more than $12 million pledged to date, the Fund is a collaboration established between the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Foundation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) to aid nonprofits working to respond to the impact the pandemic is having throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region. Grants will be made weekly to community-based organizations that support residents in three primary capacities: food and basic needs, protection of vulnerable groups, and medical care and information.

The complete list of grantees can be found below and is also available at

PHILADELPHIA – The PHL COVID-19 Fund today announced distribution of funds totaling more than $2 million in its first round of grants to 44 non-profit organizations serving on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis. With more than $12 million pledged to date, the Fund is a collaboration established between the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Foundation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) to aid nonprofits working to respond to the impact the pandemic is having throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region. Grants will be made weekly to community-based organizations that support residents in three primary capacities: food and basic needs, protection of vulnerable groups, and medical care and information.

The complete list of grantees can be found below and is also available at www.PHLCOVID19Fund.org. For more information and updates, follow the fund on Twitter at twitter.com/phlcovid19fund.

The PHL COVID-19 Fund stresses that this is the first round of grants, and, due to the volume of requests, applications will be considered and announced on a rolling basis.  The application deadline for this round is midnight on Friday, April 10. To be clear, if a nonprofit is not listed here, it does not mean its application is denied.  Applicants should continue to check the PHL COVID-19 website for regular updates.

“The purpose of the PHL COVID-19 Fund is to rapidly deploy solutions and resources to help our community navigate the near-term impact of COVID-19,” said Pedro Ramos, President & CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation. “We want to ensure that critical resources remain available and readily accessible for those in our community who have the greatest needs and are most disproportionately affected. The grants named today provide much needed financial support for organizations that mobilized immediately. In the weeks ahead, hardships throughout the community will expand and we plan to respond in real time to as many organizations as possible that are answering these unprecedented challenges. Right now, grant requests exceed the total Fund and we are continuing to seek support from donors throughout the region.”

Children and Adult Disability & Educational Services (CADES)Cathedral Kitchen, MANNA Puentes de Salud, and Why Not Prosper are among the nonprofits that will receive funding this week from the PHL COVID-19 Fund. The first round of grantees totals 44 nonprofits, serving a diverse range of residents across 10 different counties in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

 

“Whether it’s nonprofits or the individuals they serve, COVID-19 is placing strain on limited resources and forcing organizations to do more with less,” said Bill Golderer, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “PHL COVID-19 Fund grants aim to provide vital dollars and resources to the nonprofits on the frontlines that need the most support. This first round of funding helps our nonprofit partners fill immediate gaps facing our communities – like ensuring access to food and other basic needs and supporting increased healthcare demands – that are so critical to the overall wellbeing of our region.”

 

The fund prioritizes supporting people who were affected first and hardest by the coronavirus crisis, such as seniors, people experiencing homelessness, those with disabilities, low-income residents without health insurance, people with substance abuse disorder and victims of abuse.

The focus for the initial round of funding was deeply informed by the outreach efforts conducted by Philadelphia Foundation and UWGPSNJ and in close collaboration with PHL COVID-19 Fund Civic Leadership Council.  The fund currently totals more than $12 million in pledges and contributions, and it is supported by a coalition of more than 2,000 online donors alongside partners from philanthropy, business and government.

“In these difficult times, we must all have hope for the health and recovery of our region as well as deep generosity toward our neighbors,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Today’s announcement supporting our most vulnerable in the region demonstrates not only the deep need that is all around us, but also the compassion and courage of our nonprofits to continue to show up and step up in an unprecedented crisis.  Thank you to all who have donated. Your generosity is well served today and in the coming months.”

Nonprofits can still submit a request for funding via the website: www.PHLCOVID19Fund.org. Later rounds of grantmaking from the fund will adapt to the evolving community needs as the situation continues to unfold. Individuals and organizations can donate and find additional information about the PHL COVID-19 Fund via www.PHLCOVID19Fund.org.

PHL COVID-19 FUND GRANTEES: APRIL 8, 2020

Grants will be made to community-based organizations that support residents in the following vital areas: food and basic needs, protection of vulnerable groups, and medical care and information.

 

Food & Basic Needs: Social distancing protects people’s health, but also severs ties to critical resources. Grants in this category reach the region’s most vulnerable residents with food, supplies and services.

 

Protection of Vulnerable Groups: More than ever, residents of the region who live in poverty rely on nonprofit organizations for safety and wellbeing. Grants in this category help protect the region’s most vulnerable groups, including seniors, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, people with substance use disorder, and victims of abuse.

 

Medical Care & Information: There is an amplified demand for health services and information, particularly among residents who have increased health risks and those without health insurance.

 

Organizations that received funding include:

Advocates for Homeless & Those in Need $20,000
Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM)  $100,000
Broad Street Ministry $50,000
BSM/Prevention Point/Project HOME $100,000
Bucks County Housing Group $30,000
CADES $50,000
Cathedral Soup Kitchen, Inc. $50,000
Catholic Housing and Community Services $40,000
Catholic Social Services $25,000
Chosen 300 Ministries, Inc. $50,000
Community FoodBank of New Jersey $200,000
Community Volunteers in Medicine $50,000
Hedwig House, Inc. $10,000
Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger $65,000
ICNA Relief SHAMS Clinic $3,000
Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia $50,000
Lutheran Settlement House $50,000
Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA) $200,000
Mighty Writers $50,000
Multicultural Community Family Services, Inc. $48,000
National Nurse-Led Care Consortium $15,000
Neighborhood Center in Camden $25,000
Pathways to Housing PA $25,000
Patrician Society of Central Norristown $10,000
Penn Foundation, Inc. $10,000
Philabundance $200,000
Philadelphia FIGHT $50,000
Phoenixville Area Senior Center $40,000
Prevention Point Philadelphia $50,000
Project H.O.P.E. $37,000
Puentes de Salud $48,000
Saint John’s Hospice $50,000
Saint Miriam Parish & Friary $10,000
Share Food Program $100,000
Silver Springs – Martin Luther School  $50,000
St. Ignatius Nursing & Rehab Center $50,000
The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank $25,000
The Sunday Love Project $5,000
Valley Youth House Committee, Inc. $25,000
Vetri Community Partnership $45,000
Weavers Way Community Programs $48,000
Why Not Prosper, Inc. $48,000
Women’s Resource Center of the Delaware Valley $35,000
Yardley Makefield Consolidated Emergency Unit $50,000

 

GRANTEE QUOTES:

Julie Alleman, Chief Executive Officer of CADES

“The team at CADES sees COVID-19 for what it is, a virus that puts direct support professionals in a perilous position and threatens the very life of every individual they serve.  So our team has doubled-down on the talents that make them great: the human connection, creativity and unwavering motivation to face adversity with an ‘anything is possible’ attitude that is the life-force of CADES.”

 

Carrie Kitchen-Santiago, Executive Director of Cathedral Kitchen

“The funds will help sustain our food outreach to individuals and families who are struggling with poverty and food insecurity in Camden and the surrounding communities. Due to the pandemic, the Kitchen has had to suspend meals and social services in our dining room and instead serve to-go meals from our front doors. Because of this, suspension of our volunteer program, and the temporary closing of our CK Cafe and catering – all due to the need for social distancing – we have lost revenue as well as incurred additional costs. For example, we have had to hire additional staff and purchase to-go containers, bottled water and hand wipes for each of the 300 or more guests we serve per day, six days per week. The grant will help cover these unexpected costs, enabling us to continue to serve an average of 1,700 meals per week to adults, seniors and children.”

 

Sue Daugherty, Chief Executive Officer of MANNA

“MANNA’s clients are some of the city’s most vulnerable – the sickest of the sick, and more vulnerable than ever. This incredibly generous donation from the PHL COVID-19 Fund will help us meet the rapid increase in demand for our services. We are eternally grateful for the generous support.”

 

Steven Larson, MD, Executive Director of Puentes de Salud

“This pandemic is particularly devastating to the vibrant Latinx immigrant population we serve as they face additional challenges in accessing critical resources. Funding will be imperative for our clinical staff conducting telemedicine and crucial home visits, and for emergency food relief efforts as the majority of families we surveyed were assessed at a high food insecurity rating, and over half of families have lost all sources of income. As community need will be substantial and ongoing, our work as healthcare providers, community advocates, and educators will be critical in ameliorating the effects of this crisis.”

 

Rev. Michelle Simmons, Founder of Why Not Prosper

“It is difficult to articulate how much I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Words hardly seem

adequate to express our joy for the support and emergency funding to help returning women

transition into the community.” –

 

About Philadelphia Foundation
Founded in 1918, Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 1,000 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit philafound.org.

 

About United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, serving communities in Pennsylvania’s Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and New Jersey’s Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Cumberland counties, is part of a national network of more than 1,300 locally governed organizations that work to create lasting positive changes in communities and in people’s lives. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. In Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, United Way fights for youth success and family stability because we LIVE UNITED against intergenerational poverty. For more information about United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey visit www.UnitedForImpact.org.

 

###

 

. For more information and updates, follow the fund on Twitter at twitter.com/phlcovid19fund.

The PHL COVID-19 Fund stresses that this is the first round of grants, and, due to the volume of requests, applications will be considered and announced on a rolling basis.  The application deadline for this round is midnight on Friday, April 10. To be clear, if a nonprofit is not listed here, it does not mean its application is denied.  Applicants should continue to check the PHL COVID-19 website for regular updates.

“The purpose of the PHL COVID-19 Fund is to rapidly deploy solutions and resources to help our community navigate the near-term impact of COVID-19,” said Pedro Ramos, President & CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation. “We want to ensure that critical resources remain available and readily accessible for those in our community who have the greatest needs and are most disproportionately affected. The grants named today provide much needed financial support for organizations that mobilized immediately. In the weeks ahead, hardships throughout the community will expand and we plan to respond in real time to as many organizations as possible that are answering these unprecedented challenges. Right now, grant requests exceed the total Fund and we are continuing to seek support from donors throughout the region.”

Children and Adult Disability & Educational Services (CADES)Cathedral Kitchen, MANNA Puentes de Salud, and Why Not Prosper are among the nonprofits that will receive funding this week from the PHL COVID-19 Fund. The first round of grantees totals 44 nonprofits, serving a diverse range of residents across 10 different counties in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

“Whether it’s nonprofits or the individuals they serve, COVID-19 is placing strain on limited resources and forcing organizations to do more with less,” said Bill Golderer, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “PHL COVID-19 Fund grants aim to provide vital dollars and resources to the nonprofits on the frontlines that need the most support. This first round of funding helps our nonprofit partners fill immediate gaps facing our communities – like ensuring access to food and other basic needs and supporting increased healthcare demands – that are so critical to the overall wellbeing of our region.”

The fund prioritizes supporting people who were affected first and hardest by the coronavirus crisis, such as seniors, people experiencing homelessness, those with disabilities, low-income residents without health insurance, people with substance abuse disorder and victims of abuse.

The focus for the initial round of funding was deeply informed by the outreach efforts conducted by Philadelphia Foundation and UWGPSNJ and in close collaboration with PHL COVID-19 Fund Civic Leadership Council.  The fund currently totals more than $12 million in pledges and contributions, and it is supported by a coalition of more than 2,000 online donors alongside partners from philanthropy, business and government.

“In these difficult times, we must all have hope for the health and recovery of our region as well as deep generosity toward our neighbors,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Today’s announcement supporting our most vulnerable in the region demonstrates not only the deep need that is all around us, but also the compassion and courage of our nonprofits to continue to show up and step up in an unprecedented crisis.  Thank you to all who have donated. Your generosity is well served today and in the coming months.”

Nonprofits can still submit a request for funding via the website: www.PHLCOVID19Fund.org. Later rounds of grantmaking from the fund will adapt to the evolving community needs as the situation continues to unfold. Individuals and organizations can donate and find additional information about the PHL COVID-19 Fund via www.PHLCOVID19Fund.org.

PHL COVID-19 FUND GRANTEES: APRIL 8, 2020

Grants will be made to community-based organizations that support residents in the following vital areas: food and basic needs, protection of vulnerable groups, and medical care and information.

Food & Basic Needs: Social distancing protects people’s health, but also severs ties to critical resources. Grants in this category reach the region’s most vulnerable residents with food, supplies and services.

Protection of Vulnerable Groups: More than ever, residents of the region who live in poverty rely on nonprofit organizations for safety and wellbeing. Grants in this category help protect the region’s most vulnerable groups, including seniors, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, people with substance use disorder, and victims of abuse.

Medical Care & Information: There is an amplified demand for health services and information, particularly among residents who have increased health risks and those without health insurance.

 

Organizations that received funding include:

Advocates for Homeless & Those in Need: $20,000

Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM): $100,000

Broad Street Ministry: $50,000

BSM/Prevention Point/Project HOME: $100,000

Bucks County Housing Group: $30,000

CADES: $50,000

Cathedral Soup Kitchen, Inc.: $50,000

Catholic Housing and Community Services: $40,000

Catholic Social Services: $25,000

Chosen 300 Ministries, Inc.:  $50,000

Community FoodBank of New Jersey:  $200,000

Community Volunteers in Medicine: $50,000

Hedwig House, Inc.: $10,000

Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger: $65,000

ICNA Relief SHAMS Clinic: $3,000

Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia: $50,000

Lutheran Settlement House: $50,000

Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA): $200,000

Mighty Writers: $50,000

Multicultural Community Family Services, Inc.: $48,000

National Nurse-Led Care Consortium: $15,000

Neighborhood Center in Camden: $25,000

Pathways to Housing PA: $25,000

Patrician Society of Central Norristown: $10,000

Penn Foundation, Inc.: $10,000

Philabundance: $200,000

Philadelphia FIGHT: $50,000

Phoenixville Area Senior Center: $40,000

Prevention Point Philadelphia: $50,000

Project H.O.P.E.: $37,000

Puentes de Salud: $48,000

Saint John’s Hospice: $50,000

Saint Miriam Parish & Friary: $10,000

Share Food Program: $100,000

Silver Springs – Martin Luther School: $50,000

St. Ignatius Nursing & Rehab Center: $50,000

The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank: $25,000

The Sunday Love Project: $5,000

Valley Youth House Committee, Inc.:  $25,000

Vetri Community Partnership:  $45,000

Weavers Way Community Programs: $48,000

Why Not Prosper, Inc.:  $48,000

Women’s Resource Center of the Delaware Valley: $35,000

Yardley Makefield Consolidated Emergency Unit: $50,000

 

GRANTEE QUOTES:

Julie Alleman, Chief Executive Officer of CADES

“The team at CADES sees COVID-19 for what it is, a virus that puts direct support professionals in a perilous position and threatens the very life of every individual they serve.  So our team has doubled-down on the talents that make them great: the human connection, creativity and unwavering motivation to face adversity with an ‘anything is possible’ attitude that is the life-force of CADES.”

Carrie Kitchen-Santiago, Executive Director of Cathedral Kitchen

“The funds will help sustain our food outreach to individuals and families who are struggling with poverty and food insecurity in Camden and the surrounding communities. Due to the pandemic, the Kitchen has had to suspend meals and social services in our dining room and instead serve to-go meals from our front doors. Because of this, suspension of our volunteer program, and the temporary closing of our CK Cafe and catering – all due to the need for social distancing – we have lost revenue as well as incurred additional costs. For example, we have had to hire additional staff and purchase to-go containers, bottled water and hand wipes for each of the 300 or more guests we serve per day, six days per week. The grant will help cover these unexpected costs, enabling us to continue to serve an average of 1,700 meals per week to adults, seniors and children.”

Sue Daugherty, Chief Executive Officer of MANNA

“MANNA’s clients are some of the city’s most vulnerable – the sickest of the sick, and more vulnerable than ever. This incredibly generous donation from the PHL COVID-19 Fund will help us meet the rapid increase in demand for our services. We are eternally grateful for the generous support.”

Steven Larson, MD, Executive Director of Puentes de Salud

“This pandemic is particularly devastating to the vibrant Latinx immigrant population we serve as they face additional challenges in accessing critical resources. Funding will be imperative for our clinical staff conducting telemedicine and crucial home visits, and for emergency food relief efforts as the majority of families we surveyed were assessed at a high food insecurity rating, and over half of families have lost all sources of income. As community need will be substantial and ongoing, our work as healthcare providers, community advocates, and educators will be critical in ameliorating the effects of this crisis.”

Rev. Michelle Simmons, Founder of Why Not Prosper

“It is difficult to articulate how much I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Words hardly seem adequate to express our joy for the support and emergency funding to help returning women transition into the community.” –

 

About Philadelphia Foundation
Founded in 1918, Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 1,000 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit philafound.org.

About United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, serving communities in Pennsylvania’s Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and New Jersey’s Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Cumberland counties, is part of a national network of more than 1,300 locally governed organizations that work to create lasting positive changes in communities and in people’s lives. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. In Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, United Way fights for youth success and family stability because we LIVE UNITED against intergenerational poverty. For more information about United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey visit www.UnitedForImpact.org.

###

APM Receives $100,000 from PHL COVID-19 Fund

April 10, 2020

PHL COVID-19 Fund earmarks more than $2 million in first round of grants to nonprofits

PHL COVID-19 Fund earmarks more than $2 million in first round of grants to nonprofits

YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The PHL COVID-19 Fund on Wednesday announced it has awarded grants totaling more than $2 million to 44 nonprofits in the Philadelphia region.

Formed on March 19, the fund has received more than $12 million in pledges and gifts from regional businesses, foundations, and more than 2,000 individual online donors. The fund is a collaboration established among the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Foundation, and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey to help nonprofits working to respond to the impact the pandemic is having throughout the area.

The fund is being managed by a cross-functional team of leaders from both the Philadelphia Foundation and United Way.

“The purpose of the PHL COVID-19 Fund is to rapidly deploy solutions and resources to help our community navigate the near-term impact of COVID-19,” Pedro Ramos, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation, said in a statement. “We want to ensure that critical resources remain available and readily accessible for those in our community who have the greatest needs and are most disproportionately affected.

“The grants named today provide much-needed financial support for organizations that mobilized immediately. In the weeks ahead, hardships throughout the community will expand, and we plan to respond in real time to as many organizations as possible that are answering these unprecedented challenges. Right now, grant requests exceed the total Fund and we are continuing to seek support from donors throughout the region.”

“Whether it’s nonprofits or the individuals they serve, COVID-19 is placing strain on limited resources and forcing organizations to do more with less,” said Bill Golderer, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “PHL COVID-19 Fund grants aim to provide vital dollars and resources to the nonprofits on the front lines that need the most support. This first round of funding helps fill immediate gaps facing our communities” — like ensuring access to food and other basic needs and supporting increased health-care demands — “that are so critical to the overall well-being of our region.”

Grants will be made weekly to community-based organizations that support residents in three primary capacities: food and basic needs, protection of vulnerable groups, and medical care and information.

The following organizations have received the initial funding:

Advocates for Homeless & Those in Need, $20,000; Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, $100,000; Broad Street Ministry, $50,000; BSM/Prevention Point/Project HOME, $100,000; Bucks County Housing Group, $30,000; CADES, $50,000; Cathedral Soup Kitchen Inc., $50,000; Catholic Housing and Community Services, $40,000; Catholic Social Services, $25,000; Chosen 300 Ministries Inc., $50,000; Community FoodBank of New Jersey, $200,000; Community Volunteers in Medicine, $50,000; Hedwig House Inc., $10,000.

Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, $65,000; ICNA Relief SHAMS Clinic, $3,000; Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia, $50,000; Lutheran Settlement House, $50,000; Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA), $200,000; Mighty Writers, $50,000; Multicultural Community Family Services Inc., $48,000; National Nurse-Led Care Consortium, $15,000; and Neighborhood Center in Camden, $25,000;

Pathways to Housing PA, $25,000; Patrician Society of Central Norristown, $10,000; Penn Foundation Inc., $10,000; Philabundance, $200,000; Philadelphia FIGHT, $50,000; Phoenixville Area Senior Center, $40,000; Prevention Point Philadelphia, $50,000; Project H.O.P.E., $37,000; Puentes de Salud, $48,000; Saint John’s Hospice, $50,000; Saint Miriam Parish & Friary, $10,000; Share Food Program, $100,000; Silver Springs – Martin Luther School, $50,000; St. Ignatius Nursing & Rehab Center, $50,000.

The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank, $25,000; The Sunday Love Project, $5,000; Valley Youth House Committee Inc., $25,000; Vetri Community Partnership, $45,000; Weavers Way Community Programs, $48,000; Why Not Prosper Inc.,, $48,000; Women’s Resource Center of the Delaware Valley, $35,000; Yardley Makefield Consolidated Emergency Unit, $50,000.

 

The Inquirer is owned by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, which operates under the auspices of Philadelphia Foundation. For more information on how to donate to the PHL COVID-19 Fund, visit phlcovid19fund.org.

Philly preschoolers learn with tablets while schools remain closed

March 30, 2020

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) —  Hundreds of tablets are now in the hands of Philadelphia students — specifically, toddlers.

Since the state closed schools to prevent the spread of coronavirus, staffers from the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) dropped off tablets — keeping a social distance, of course — to the homes of more than 600 3- to 5-year-olds, who would normally be at one of the nonprofit’s four preschool centers between West Kensington and Hunting Park.

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The children will now not only be able to connect with their teachers live, but explore on their own.

“Each of the tablets has educational apps on it,” said Dr. Donald Price, APM vice president for education, training and supportive housing. “They’ll come preloaded with those apps, and they will receive a lesson plan and activities so that they can go through the activities with their families.”

Price said it’s critical for young children to continue to learn in their early years, when their brains are absorbing so much information.

TruMark Financial Credit Union helped fund the tablets, and T-Mobile is providing students with free internet for six months.

On Monday afternoon, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf expanded his stay-at-home order through at least April 30, and he announced all schools will remain closed until further notice.

Price added the tablets are the childrens’ to keep.

 

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APM Addressing the Digital Divide/Tablet Delivery 3-30-2020

March 30, 2020

APM Tablet Delivery

At Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha, we are committed to our mission to help families achieve their greatest potential.  Today, our leadership and educators from the Early Childhood Education service area delivered nearly 700 tablets to the students that we serve.  The action taken today was truly empowering and the definition of selflessness.  Our commitment to those that we serve prioritizes service over self.  Thank you to TruMark Financial Credit Union for the resources to purchase the tablets and T-Mobile for providing 6 months of free internet service.

Trumark Financial

 

 

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