$1.76 million in COVID-19 grants to 21 not-for-profit organisation
Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation has announced a total of $1.76 million grants to 21 not-for-profit organisations to assist them to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grants cover homelessness, health, community resilience, renewable energy, cultural and social enterprise sectors.
Recipients of the grants include Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, Council to Homeless Persons (CHP), Uniting and Whitebox Enterprises, which funds start-up businesses to employ young people.
The Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Catherine Brown OAM, said “We worked with the not-for-profit sector to understand what was required to maintain their services in the early stages of the pandemic, and we then looked ahead to plan where the community will need support in the next stage of the pandemic and our shared plans for recovery.”
The Foundation has provided grants supporting where the impact of the pandemic has been most severe, including higher unemployment rates for young people and women, increased incidents of domestic violence, major health challenges particularly in mental health, lack of affordable housing as well as disruptions to education and training.
Dr Brown said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing social issues and the severity of the impact on the community is likely to be long lasting, particularly for vulnerable people. We are now presented with an opportunity to ‘build back better’ which should always be the goal in the recovery phase of a disaster.
“We are supporting CHP’s Everybody’s Home to advocate for increased social and affordable housing as part of our recovery and supporting a faster climate transition through a renewables-led recovery that also provides employment as well as other economic and health benefits. Smart Energy Council are doing great work on linking employment with reducing emissions,” she said.
The third round of COVID-19 response grants announced in late June has resulted in a further 14 not-for-profit organisations sharing in $905,738 bringing the total of COVID-19 response grants over $1.76 million.
With Melbourne going back into lockdown, the Foundation is continuing to monitor the health impacts on vulnerable communities and the need to scale up community support services, including homelessness and employment support.
At the same time, the Foundation is maintaining its commitment to longer term recovery supporting more social and affordable housing and accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy which supports new jobs.
Dr Brown said, “In many disasters, support can move from providing immediate relief, through to medium term support, and then progress to recovery. The COVID-19 pandemic is different as we are now dealing with all stages of disaster response and recovery at the same time. While we deal with immediate needs, we don’t want to lose sight of what could be possible if we build back better.”
Dr Brown urges partnerships between government, business, philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector to increase the supply of social and affordable housing, increase employment opportunities for vulnerable communities and power Australia’s economy by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency technology.
“The Foundation strongly supports broader community discussions on how we can do things better and this includes making sure that everyone, especially people with lived experiences of disadvantage, have a voice in these discussions as we recover from the pandemic,” added Dr Brown.
Support on responding to the health impacts of COVID-19 are given Alfred Health Department of Infectious Disease Understanding the impact of COVID-19,and Monash University National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce.
Grants on scaling up existing services to meet increased demand of support are given to Domestic Violence Victoria COVID-19 and family violence crisis response, Foodbank Victoria COVID-19 food relief, Gather My Crew COVID-19 initiatives, Infoxchange Ask Izzy uplift for COVID-19, Justice Connect Getting the right help when affected by COVID-19, Monash University BehaviourWorks Designing an evidence based energy and water project, Streat COVID-19 A moving feast, Uniting Vic/Tas Data collection for Uniting and Connected project, White Box Enterprises COVID rapid relief job vehicle, WISE Employment Wise work connection staying ahead of the curve, and Youth Affairs Council of Victoria COVID-19 support for increased capacity needs.
Supporting organisational and sector resilience will also be granted Abbotsford Convent Foundation Sustain the Convent Initiative, Bangarra Dance Theatre Keep our songline strong, Collingwood Children’s Farm COVID-19 Resilience through community skills-based, and Contemporary Arts Precinct Collingwood Yards – Emergency Appeal.
Meanwhile, Centre for Australian Progress Amplifying voices for community-led solutions, Climate Action Network Australia Technology roadmap critical information, Council to Homeless Persons Housing Australians after COVID-19, and Monash Sustainable Development Institute Transforming Australia update 2020 will receive grants for building back better as part of the COVID-19 recovery.