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August 15, 2020
Essex Co. Comm. Foundation Awards $590K to Six Nonprofits
Essex County Community Foundation

July 16, 2020 — The Essex County Community Foundation, based in Danvers, earlier this week announced it awarded $590,000 from its Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund to six nonprofit organizations to provide rent relief to families and individuals that face a loss of housing due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“There is so much uncertainty swirling around what is going to happen to people who can’t afford their rent,” said Carol Lavoie Schuster, vice president for grants, nonprofits and donor services at the Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF). “Housing affordability and instability was a major issue for so many residents of Essex County before the pandemic hit and, like many other inequities exposed in the last few months, COVID-19 has exacerbated it.”

Receiving funding were the following organizations:

  • Community Teamwork, Lowell
  • Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development, Lynn
  • Beverly Bootstraps, Beverly
  • Pettengill House, Amesbury
  • Harborlight Community Partners, Beverly
  • Lawrence Community Works, Lawrence

The latest grants, the eighth round since the coronavirus pandemic hit Massachusetts, was funded by the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, the statewide philanthropic fund initiated by First Lady Lauren Baker and the One8 Foundation to support those across the state most impacted by COVID-19. This fund, which is resourced by private philanthropy and individual donors, works in concert with regional community foundations to strategically fill in where gaps are pronounced.

“Stable housing is the most basic of human necessities,” said ECCF President and CEO Beth Francis. “We are so grateful for the support of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund to help provide struggling Essex County individuals and families keep a roof over their heads while they deal with the many health and economic challenges caused by our current health crisis.”

To date, ECCF has awarded nearly $5 million through 213 rapid response grants to nonprofits battling COVID-19 and the resulting fallout from the virus.

On July 1, ECCF pivoted from providing rapid response grants to an open application cycle, the foundation said, so that it can delve deeper into the long-lasting effects of the virus and give support to additional organizations.

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