Help Coming for Philly-Area Nonprofits in Distress During Coronavirus Outbreak

Philadelphia is collaborating with organizations to provide funding to nonprofits helping vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 outbreak

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Those nonprofits doing the exhausting work on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic can expect help soon, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Thursday.

The newly formed PHL COVID-19 Fund already has $6.5 million in pledges and donations, including $67,000 raised since Thursday from about 200 people and the Independence Foundation, Kenney said in a follow-up news conference Friday.

The fund is a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, along with the Philadelphia Foundation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. They’re asking businesses and individuals to donate money that will go towards various nonprofits in the region.

“The pandemic is placing extraordinary stress on our city and region, particularly on already strained community organizations that help our most vulnerable residents, and we must work urgently to provide them with greater financial support,” Kenney said. 

According to the City of Philadelphia, grants will be given to nonprofit organizations serving at-risk populations, such as: seniors, people with disabilities, and people who are homeless or economically disadvantaged. Any nonprofit organization meeting that criteria is encouraged to apply through the fund’s website. As of Friday afternoon, no organizations were identified as recipients.

“They can go online now through the portal and let us know about their needs,” Philadelphia Fund President and CEO Pedro Ramos said.

The city said the money will allow the groups to continue providing services like food pantries and health care.  

man feeding woman at food pantry
A food offering at Covenant House Pennsylvania.

 “There has never been a time when we’ve been more solicited for help,” said Bill Golderer, CEO of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

Ramos told NBC10 the grants would begin to be distributed to nonprofits within two weeks.

“We are very much set up to continue to operate and to continue to raise and distribute funds as long we we’re in the relief and response phase of this," Golderer said.

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