The COVID-19 Community Stabilization Fund
The Community Foundation launched the COVID-19 Community Stabilization Fund in Summer 2020. Designed to set the stage for recovery, it was CFHZ’s continuing response to the impacts of the pandemic after the coalition-managed Emergency Human Needs Fund transitioned to strategic efforts led by each of the coalition partners. Initial seed money of $200,000 for the Community Stabilization Fund came from the Community’s Endowment. Generous local families and corporations joined the effort and, to date, over $1 million has been raised for distribution to local organizations.
Conversations with local nonprofit partners and community leaders revealed three areas of deepest need that will continue to require additional investments for the foreseeable future: financial stability, health, and education. Designed to act swiftly and be flexible as new information emerges, the Community Stabilization Fund was structured to specifically target these needs. It also works in complement with the funds from various public and private sources coming into our community which are, by their nature, intended for general use amongst a variety of audiences.
Three Areas of Prioritized Investment
- Preventing people from slipping into poverty - primary strategy is focused on stabilizing ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households by helping to keep people in their homes. Continued basic needs supports - primary strategy is providing basic needs support targeted to those who haven’t (or won’t ever) receive the federal stimulus financial supports.
- $501,000 has been awarded to 16 organizations
- Community Action House; Family Independence Initiative – Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program; Feeding America West Michigan; Good Samaritan Ministries; Hand2Hand; Harvest Stand Ministries; Holland Rescue Mission; Kids Food Basket – Holland; Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates; Movement West Michigan; Nestlings; Ottawa County Department of Health & Human Services; Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence; Salvation Army – Holland; St. John’s Episcopal Church Immigrant Relief Fund for Holland/Zeeland Residents; Zeeland Neighbors in partnership with Solid Rock Ministries
- Increase mental health and substance abuse services - primary strategy is scaling up existing mental health and substance abuse providers to be able to serve more people and reach different audiences.
- $197,000 has been awarded to 10 organizations
- Arbor Circle; Beacon of Hope; Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland; Children’s Advocacy Center; City on a Hill Ministries Health Clinic; Holland Free Health Clinic; Maple Avenue Ministries; Mosaic Counseling; Resthaven; Ottagon Addictions Recovery (OAR)
- Mitigating the education opportunity gap - primary strategy is focused on mitigating the educational opportunity gap that risks growing more severe for children who were already struggling.
- $298,000 has been awarded to 10 organizations
- Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland; Bridge Youth Center; Children’s After School Achievement (CASA); Escape Ministries; Family Hope Foundation; Hope College Department of Education in partnership with Ottawa Area Intermediate School District; Opportunity Thrive; Outdoor Discovery Center; Ready for School; Step Up