In 2020, CFHZ responded to the COVID-19 pandemic through an increased deployment of resources, collaboration with community partners, and innovative new programs. The first phase of our response began with a community coalition comprised of CFHZ, the Greater Ottawa County United Way, the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance and Community SPOKE. This coalition worked together to monitor ongoing developments surrounding COVID-19, engage volunteers, and distribute grants through the Emergency Human Needs Fund.

In partnership with West Michigan Community Bank, CFHZ developed an innovative Line of Credit Guarantee Program (LOC). The LOC provided 11 organizations with flexible working capital, allowing them to confidently navigate a simultaneous loss of revenue from fundraising events or fee-for-service programs and a sudden increase in demand for services.

The second phase of our response began after the Emergency Human Needs Fund reached its conclusion. In summer 2020, CFHZ launched the COVID-19 Community Stabilization Fund. The Community Stabilization Fund was designed to set the stage for recovery from the impacts of the pandemic. It focused on three key areas of impact: financial stability (preventing people from slipping into poverty and continued basic needs supports); health (increasing mental health and substance abuse services); and education (mitigating the opportunity gap as our model for learning adapted in real time).

We are grateful for the trust-built relationships with members of the community coalition and our nonprofit partners, along with the individuals, families, and companies who made contributions to the relief efforts and helped increase our impact.