Catch up on the latest here: Summer 2020 Newsletter.
The tragic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer is yet another reminder of the systematic inequities suffered by African Americans and evidence of the underlying inequities and racism that continue to exist in our community and our country.
It is heartbreaking and infuriating, but it’s also confirmation that continuing to make equity a focus of our work is vital to fulfilling our mission.
Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, and we mourn the murder of George Floyd alongside his family and our community. We join those who call for justice for Mr. Floyd and for reforms that will help prevent tragedies like these from happening again.
We acknowledge and condemn the unjust treatment of countless others, including those whose names we may never know. We acknowledge the ongoing incidents and trauma our black community members experience every day.
We’re proud of the way the citizens of Winston-Salem have peacefully expressed their outrage at the death of George Floyd and that members of the WSPD and Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department have supported and participated in the lawful expression of frustration and anger. Change can only happen if we work together and this week has proven that Winston-Salem has the potential to be a model for transformation.
George Floyd’s death cannot be in vain. It must be used as a rallying cry for systematic change and, in our work, as an indicator that we need to prioritize a continued focus on equity in all aspects and move with more urgency.
At United Way of Forsyth County, a strong part of our core values is equity. We seek to support a community that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable. One where citizens, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected.
Catrina Thompson, Chief of Police – United Way of Forsyth County Board Chair
Cindy Gordineer, President and CEO, United Way of Forsyth County
United Way believes that every person is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect – this includes equal treatment and access to justice. Recent events involving violence and threats against African Americans expose our society’s underlying racism, prejudice and privilege that prevent too many people from being treated with the humanity and respect they deserve. These incidents are abhorrent and run counter to everything that United Way, its volunteers and professionals value, live and fight for every day.
All people of all backgrounds and identities must call out discrimination and demand its removal from our society; otherwise, we are endorsing the status quo and are complicit in the abuses that follow.
We must all do our part, working United, to make our communities the places that we need them to be – equitable, respectful and opportunity-filled. We, as a society, can and must do better to guarantee that the basic human rights and freedoms of every person in every community are protected.
Twenty-three local agencies and other non-profit groups were selected to receive grants from the city’s portion of the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County.
The largest single grant, of $100,000, went to the Forsyth Backpack Program, which provides weekend meals for hungry children & teens. Grants of $75,000 each were approved for Love Out Loud, the School Health Alliance for Forsyth County and Trellis Supportive Care.
Grants of $50,000 were awarded to Christ Rescue Temple Church, S.G. Atkins Community Development Corp., Care Net Counseling, Nueva Vida and the Exchange Club for the Prevention of Child Abuse of North Carolina. Grants of lesser amounts were approved for 14 other organizations.
The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee reviewed 42 grant applications Friday to determine how to disburse the $1 million the city contributed to the response fund. The fund has raised more than $3.6 million, including the city’s contribution, to make one-time grants to local organizations that assist those economically impacted by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund is being administered by the United Way and the Winston-Salem Foundation. The city set up a separate process for awarding grants from its $1 million to ensure transparency and citizen input on how the city money is allocated.
A video of Friday’s meeting at which the grant requests were determined is posted under the COVID19 Response Fund link at CityofWS.org/COVID19.
More information about the fund is posted at COVID19Forsyth.org, including answers to frequently asked questions about the fund, its priorities and the grant-making process. A list of grants funded to date through the response fund is posted at www.wsfoundation.org/covid-19-grantees.
The following is the complete list of organizations approved by the city to receive grants, and how they will use the money:
- Forsyth Backpack Program – $100,000 to purchase pre-packaged “backpacks” containing four shelf-stable, kid-friendly weekend meals to all children coming to select schools for grab-n-go meals provided by the WS/FCS system.
- Love Out Loud – $75,000 to provide 10,000-12,000 “gap” meals to families and homebound adults, contracting with local restaurants, caterers, and food trucks; to support the efforts of Project Mask WS.
- School Health Alliance for Forsyth County – $75,000 to continue to operate Comprehensive School-Based Health Center sites, including Ashley Academy and Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy; to expand alliance services to children served by Imprints Cares’ child-care programs for children of essential personnel.
- Trellis Supportive Care – $75,000 to provide personal protective equipment to patient care staff in order to continue to provide hospice and palliative care to patients, including those without health insurance.
- Christ Rescue Temple Church – $50,000 to expand its “People Helping People” feeding program to serve seniors, homeless families, healthcare workers, daycare workers, and people of color from low socio-economic communities.
- S.G. Atkins Community Development Corp. – $50,000 to operate the Enterprise Center’s shared-use kitchen to prepare and distribute 600 free meals per week to the community from May through August 2020, with labor provided by hospitality/food industry workers who have lost their incomes and businesses due to COVID-19.
- Exchange Club Center For The Prevention Of Child Abuse of North Carolina, Inc. – $50,000 to offer financial assistance to families receiving support through the Welcome Baby and Parent Aide programs and to increase the organization’s capacity to assess families’ needs.
- CareNet Counseling – $50,000 to provide increased financial assistance for mental health counseling for the uninsured and under-insured.
- Nueva Vida/New Life – $50,000 to provide daily meals to underprivileged neighborhoods such as Skyline Village and Aster Park and to provide assistance with paying for prescription medicines, rent, and utilities.
- St. Peter’s We Care House – $49,700 to meet the increased demand for food assistance and to the close the gap in increased requests for basic personal items such as toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
- Grace Presbyterian Church, USA – $45,320 to expand the capacity of the Healthy Eating and JRAMS programs to provide food assistance and youth engagement in the LaDeara Crest and Carver High School community.
- Siembra NC – $41,550 to provide financial assistance to immigrant families ineligible for COVID-19 relief funds, to translate information about services and COVID-19 issues, and to fund additional broadcast campaigns through the organization’s Spanish-language text alert broadcast system.
- Diaper Bank of North Carolina – $40,000 to purchase hygiene products to be distributed specifically to families in Forsyth County via the organization’s community partnerships.
- Great Commission Community Church – $40,000 to provide meals to the homeless at the Bethesda Center, weekday meals to the community, and groceries to feed families during the weekend.
- St. Paul United Methodist Church – $35,000 to increase the church’s capacity to assist with food delivery, to provide handwashing stations at their food pantry, to purchase materials for and distribute masks, and to increase grief care outreach.
- Mental Health Association of Forsyth County – $35,000 to provide mental health support services through support groups, short-term counseling, information and referral follow-ups, and community education and outreach.
- Hope Connection International Inc. – $30,000 to provide increased financial assistance to victims of domestic violence, including rent assistance, utilities, transportation, and career and personal needs.
- Sinai Community Development Corp. – $30,000 to expand the organization’s free meal distribution program for the East Winston community to provide special service hours for seniors, delivery to disabled/homebound residents provided through referral agencies, and prepared meals and delivery to healthcare professionals.
- Solus Christus – $20,000 to meet the anticipated increasing needs of women experiencing homelessness, trauma, and addiction to include emotional, spiritual, and physical needs.
- Journee Bees Village – $20,000 to provide emergency assistance for rent, mortgage, utilities, transportation, food, and cleaning and hygiene products for individuals experiencing a loss of household income due to COVID-19.
- Hope To Thrive – $15,000 to address toxic stress exacerbated by COVID-19 by providing the immediate needs of food, shelter, and sanitation needs of seniors, undocumented immigrants, and African American and low income neighborhoods mainly in East and South Winston from May through August 2020.
- Iglesia luz de jesucristo INC – $13,430 to continue to offer clothing, food, counseling, and financial support for the Hispanic community.
- Acción Hispana – $10,000 to increase the dissemination of information about assistance to the Hispanic community.
April 24, 2020- For Immediate Release: Continuum of Care, Forsyth County Government and the City of Winston Salem Announce Initiatives to Assist Those Experiencing Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Those experiencing homelessness are at greater risk during this time and the number of people becoming homeless due to job loss, illness, etc. is estimated to exponentially grow. Given close quarters, compromised immune systems, and an aging population, people experiencing homelessness are exceptionally vulnerable to communicable diseases, not excluding the current outbreak of coronavirus, COVID-19.*
The Continuum of Care (CoC) currently estimates about 100 people have health conditions listed by the CDC as putting them at significant risk of serious complication/mortality if they contract COVID19.
Forsyth County Government opened an isolation shelter last week providing a safe space for people who need to be isolated/quarantined because of COVID-19. It has provided relief to the existing shelters who were struggling to provide safe harbors following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.
Members of the Continuum of Care and Representatives from the City of Winston-Salem have been finalizing plans to open a temporary shelter specifically for the medically fragile. This shelter will not only offer an opportunity for people at heightened risk because of pre-existing conditions to shelter-in-place in a space that can afford them protection from exposure to COVID-19, but will also provide engagement opportunities, and supportive services focused on helping people transition back towards permanent housing.
This shelter will also be hotel-based and it will have on-site peer support and staff working to help with transition planning to permanent housing. Bethesda Center for the Homeless will take the lead with City with Dwellings providing support to the guests; and will provide Client Management services. Food is being provided by Samaritan Ministries.
Andrea Kurtz, Senior Director Housing Strategies, notes that, “We are very excited that the medically fragile shelter location has been identified with a plan to begin the client intake process on Monday April 27, 2020. The partnerships that have come together to create both shelters in such a short period of time are amazing, and reflect the compassion, expertise and investment our community is able to put forth to ensure all our residents are safe and cared for.”
The CoC is continuing outreach work with people who are campers or otherwise unsheltered. Outreach teams are offering portable hand washing stations to camp sites, and that information about social distancing and the shelter in place order is shared. CoC members are also encouraging campers to shelter in place. In addition, CoC members have met with law enforcement to encourage them not to ticket people for camping during this pandemic.
WINSTON-SALEM, NC (APRIL 22, 2020)— A day after announcing the new Mask the City initiative to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in this area, a vast network of community and faith-based organizations are beginning to distribute masks. The Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity and Love Out Loud are spearheading this effort.
The purpose of Mask the City is to provide everyone in Winston-Salem access to a mask and urge them to wear it as well as to continue social distancing for 40 days from April 22 through May 31. The masks will be widely dispersed throughout the community under the program. William M. Satterwhite, III, JD, MD, Chief Wellness Officer at Wake Forest Baptist Health, and his team designed the mask in conjunction with Renfro Corporation. Renfro is manufacturing the masks, which are called the Nightingale™ WS Protective Mask.
Approximately 60,000 masks have already been received from Renfro to date and, beginning today, have started to be distributed to community organizations. A number of businesses, foundations, other organizations and private donors paid for the 60,000 masks. Masks will be made available for disbursement at no cost to low-income individuals and other at-risk residents through a variety of community organizations and faith-based organizations. These entities are receiving masks this week and, in many cases, will begin distribution this week or early next.
Per the parameters established by The Winston-Salem Foundation through the Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund these masks are dedicated specifically for 1) people living in Winston-Salem at or below the poverty line or 2) seniors without jobs living independently in Winston-Salem on fixed incomes. In many cases the listed organization may have “members”—but their respective distribution of masks are going to the specific audience previously listed and not their general membership.
“Mask the City is encouraging residents of Winston-Salem needing access to a mask at no cost to reach out to a community organization they have a relationship with or that serves their need—be that a church, a local agency, or a neighborhood organization,” said Chuck Spong, executive director of Love Out Loud. “We have been working closely with Elder Tembila Covington with the Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity to get these masks to those in need and at risk as quickly as possible.”
The following is an initial list of partner organizations receiving masks for distribution to low-income and at-risk residents (this list will likely grow in the days ahead):
- Alianza Cristiana y Misionera
- Bethesda Center for the Homeless
- Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church
- Boston-Thurmond Network
- Brownsboro Community Partnership
- Catholic Charities
- Centers for Exceptional Children
- Central Terrace United Methodist Church – New Story
- Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina
- Christ Church Winston-Salem
- City Lights Ministry
- Crosby Scholars
- Destiny Temple, Inc.
- Dress for Success – Winston-Salem
- Experiment in Self-Reliance, Inc.
- Family Services Forsyth County
- The Fellowship Home
- Financial Pathways of the Piedmont
- First Alliance Church
- First Baptist Church on Fifth
- Fulton Family YMCA
- Greater Galilee Baptist Church
- Greater Tabernacle Worship Center
- Iglesia Cristiana Sin Fronteras
- Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County
- Insight Human Services
- El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services
- LEAD Girls of NC
- Legal Aid of North Carolina
- Mission on the Move Outreach
- Moore Elementary Food Pantry; Highland Presbyterian Church & Temple Emanuel
- Mount Calvary Holy Church
- Parkway United Church of Christ
- Redeemer Presbyterian Church
- Royal Curtain Drama Guild Productions Inc
- The Salvation Army
- Samaritan Ministries
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC
- The Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem
- Shiloh Baptist Church
- Springwell Network, Inc.
- The Parenting PATH
- Union Baptist Church
- Whole Man Ministries
- Winston Lake Family YMCA
- Winston-Salem First
- Winston-Salem Street School
- YMCA of Northwest North Carolina
Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund
The Winston-Salem Foundation has set up the Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund that will be used to provide grants to qualified organizations (those otherwise meeting the Foundation’s guidelines and requirements) to purchase and distribute masks to residents of Winston-Salem and employees working at facilities in Winston-Salem. The primary focus will be on organizations assisting and reaching those with current incomes below the federal poverty guidelines, and a secondary focus will be healthcare workers.
Those who would like to contribute to the Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund should go to wsfoundation.org/maskthecity on the Winston-Salem Foundation website to pay using a credit card. People may also send a check, made payable to The Winston-Salem Foundation with Mask the City – Winston-Salem Fund noted in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to The Winston-Salem Foundation, 751 West 4th Street, Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Each donor will receive a gift receipt/acknowledgement from the Foundation. Those who would like to request a grant from the fund should send an email to Lou.Doherty@teallcapital.com. The email should contain details about the organization, the requested number of masks, and who will be the intended recipients of masks.
Additional information about the Mask the City initiative can be found at maskthecity.com and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @maskthecity. Nightingale WS Protective Mask product information is available at nightingalesafe.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: UPDATED April 21
April 20, 2020 – Winston–Salem, NC
COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County Awards Second Round of Grants: over $1.5 Million to 37 Local Nonprofits to Help Community Members
A total of $1,501,000 has been awarded to 37 local nonprofits in the second round of grants awarded from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County. These grants will ensure rapid funding for nonprofit organizations meeting basic needs for community members impacted by the pandemic, including food, shelter, housing, and emergency financial assistance.
- ABC of NC Child Development Center – $40,000 to help children with autism and their families access and pay for essential autism programming during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Services – $15,000 to fund technology-enabled engagement tools allowing college-success mentoring to high school students and mentor check-ins for younger students, many who have socioeconomic barriers and opportunity gaps.
- City with Dwellings – $100,000 to provide critical overflow shelter services for the homeless population during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as support the financial assistance needed for individuals receiving diversion and outreach work as part of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Continuum of Care.
- Community Care Center – $50,000 to support increased operating costs when non-essential office visits and procedures increase as COVID-19 social distancing medical restrictions are lessened.
- Dress for Success Winston-Salem – $10,000 to help maintain job readiness services for lower-wage, largely minority working women to adapt to challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis.
- El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services – $24,000 to support Latinx households, many of whom are undocumented, have lost their jobs, and are lacking transportation, including assistance for groceries, medical expenses, and utilities.
- Experiment in Self-Reliance – $30,000 to support low-income community members by providing increased financial assistance for housing services and homeless prevention activities.
- Family Services – $100,000 to maintain current levels of mental health and domestic violence services, to prepare for anticipated increases in demand, and to support families/clients who are in need due to COVID-19.
- Financial Pathways of the Piedmont – $87,000 to support operating expenses and additional costs for remote work requirements, and to provide financial assistance to clients to offset expenses and challenges related to COVID-19.
- Footbridge – $15,000 to support the cost of one of their dental clinics, providing free dental exams and services, including complex dental work, to low-income individuals or to those who have recently lost insurance due to circumstances related to COVID-19.
- Goodwill Industries of NWNC – $100,000 to provide education and career training assistance, including virtual services, to individuals who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- greeNest – $30,000 to provide furnishings and housewares for clients moving from homelessness into permanent housing, as operations have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Guiding Institute for Developmental Education – $30,000 to provide tutorial and online academic afterschool assistance and wrap-around services, including household supplies, to families primarily in East Winston-Salem.
- Habit Missions Ministry – $10,000 to support the increase in requests for assistance from their homeless client population.
- Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County – $40,000 to help low income families experiencing unemployment or reduced hours pay their mortgages.
- Honorable Youth – $5,000 to continue to provide economically disadvantaged single mothers with financial literacy programming in the Two-Generations Program, support and provide food for single-family households, and assist families with rent, utilities, and mental health support.
- Hoops4 L.Y.F.E. – $30,000 to provide affordable low-cost childcare, breakfast, lunch, and snacks to students, mental health support, and coaching for unemployment claims.
- HUSTLE Winston-Salem – $10,000 to support community members and entrepreneurs who need access to remote software and technology.
- Love Community Development Corporation – $50,000 to meet the increased demand for food and clothing requests from diverse populations, especially people of color, single-family heads of households, displaced or laid off workers, seniors, and homeless individuals.
- Mi Casa – $50,000 to provide critical response to the needs of Forsyth County’s Spanish speaking community, assisting clients with immigration services, and waiving tax preparation service fees, which is critical to their receiving tax refunds since they are ineligible to receive stimulus checks.
- My Brother’s Second Chance – $10,000 to increase support for underprivileged African-American youth and their families including providing access to food, internet support, and transportation.
- NC Congress of Latino Organizations – $20,000 to increase the capacity of grassroots Latino organizations to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse economic impacts.
- New Beginning Pentecostal Church – $10,000 to support families, single mothers, and seniors with assistance for their rent, mortgage, utilities, medicine, clothing, and food.
- Pretty in Pink Foundation – $10,000 to provide uninsured and under-insured breast cancer patients with financial assistance for quality, life-saving medical treatment.
- Quality Education Academy – $30,000 to allow their feeding site to serve adult family members.
- Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem – $5,000 to provide meals for individuals and families at a time when volunteer food donations are unavailable.
- Senior Services – $15,000 to provide nutritional support and home-delivered meals for older adults who are home-bound.
- Sunnyside Ministry – $100,000 to provide increased food and financial assistance to community members during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
- The Centers for Exceptional Children – $25,000 to assist children with special needs and their families with increased services and remote support.
- The Dwelling – $20,000 to provide access to showers, clean clothes, and personal hygiene for those experiencing homelessness.
- The Fellowship Home of Winston-Salem – $10,000 to adapt their structured residential program and provide necessities for men recovering from substance use disorders.
- The Twenty – $75,000 to distribute disinfection and contamination kits, set up healthcare evaluation and testing sites, and deliver meals to those experiencing food insecurity.
- Triad Dream Center – $20,000 to provide food assistance and clothing to individuals and families in need.
- United Health Centers – $100,000 to provide affordable and comprehensive healthcare to under-served community members and distribute educational materials about COVID-19 in both English and Spanish.
- Winston-Salem Urban League – $100,000 to assist residents who are seeking employment during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
- World Relief Triad – $25,000 to provide vital services such as food and financial assistance for refugees, survivors of human trafficking, and vulnerable immigrant populations.
- YMCA of Northwest North Carolina – $100,000 to adapt services and provide emergency childcare, coordinate community food distribution, and make wellness calls for seniors.
Cheryl Lindsay, speaking on behalf of the response fund grant distribution committee, says: “The committee was impressed by the quick response of nonprofits who adapted to address the needs of so many community members who have been affected by the coronavirus. Unfortunately, the needs in our community are still greater than our current financial resources, so we’d welcome continued support of the COVID-19 Response Fund to be able to make more grants in the future.”
Since the Fund was announced on March 18, almost $2.6 million has been committed to the fund from private sources, including foundations, corporations, groups, and individuals.
Additional grant applications to the COVID-19 Response Fund are currently suspended, as existing funds from private donations have been fully committed through the two grant rounds. However, fundraising will continue, and future funding phases will be developed by evaluating the funds available, community needs, and government response.
The City of Winston-Salem, which contributed $1 million to the COVID-19 Response Fund in addition to the almost $2.6 million from private sources, will be managing a separate review process for those applications already in the system. Applications will be reviewed by the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee. For more information on the city’s process, please visit their website.
ABOUT THE FUND
United Way of Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem Foundation launched the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County on March 18 to support a range of nonprofit organizations assisting members of the community during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly those most vulnerable. United Way of Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem Foundation are administering the Fund, charging no administrative fees.
To contribute to the COVID-19 Response Fund, visit covid19forsyth.org or text COVID19Forsyth to 71777 (message and data rates may apply).
Corporations and foundations: to donate by check or ACH, contact Meridith Whitaker, Director of Philanthropic Services at The Winston-Salem Foundation, at (336) 604-5032 or firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a stay-at-home order Friday and closed the state’s nonessential businesses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The order goes into effect 5:00 pm Monday, but Cooper urged residents to begin staying at home immediately.
“It’s what we have to do to save lives,” he said at a press briefing Friday.
North Carolina has 763 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has had three deaths from the virus, according to data compiled by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.
More info here .
Photo credit: Governor Roy Cooper, D-NC address the crowd during the Rally for Respect outside the North Carolina Legislative Building on May 16, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sara D. Davis | Getty Images