Essex Co. Comm. Foundation Grants $300K to Area Nonprofits
Essex County Community Foundation

October 9, 2020 — The Essex County Community Foundation recently announced it has awarded $300,000 to 12 nonprofits and four nonprofit collaborations focused on health care and mental health.

The first round of grants from the Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund will help recipients provide services to vulnerable residents in the county’s 34 cities and towns, many of whom remain in crisis due to the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has been particularly detrimental to immigrants, communities of color, people living in poverty, senior citizens, people with disabilities and young people,” said Carol Lavoie Schuster, vice president for grants, nonprofit, and donor services for the Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF). “Particularly in the areas of health and mental health, the virus has uncovered and, in some cases, increased inequities in our systems.”

According to ECCF, lack of access to healthy food and telehealth technology, a disproportionate incidence of COVID-19 in communities of color, and an increase in the need for mental health and substance use disorder services are just a few of the issues that Essex County communities still face.

Receiving the grants were the following nonprofits:

  • Backyard Growers, Gloucester, to support an increase in fresh food access for Gloucester residents.

  • Beverly Hospital, to support the Emergency Room Recovery Coach working with patients presenting with behavioral health and substance use disorder concerns.

  • Blueskies Wellness, Methuen, to support telehealth technology needs and increased staffing, particularly culturally relevant and multilingual mental health practitioners to meet the mental health needs of Essex County residents, particularly in Lawrence.

  • Care Dimensions, Danvers, to support the compassionate care of Essex County residents facing advanced or end-of-life illness.

  • Children’s Friend and Family Resources, Lawrence, Lynn, to support the expansion of telehealth services in Lynn and Lawrence.

  • Express Yourself, Beverly, to support increased staff hours to allow for more youth to benefit from a 1:1 youth to staff ratio.

  • Family Continuity, Lawrence, to increase telehealth capacity.

  • Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Lawrence, to support staff of the Unite Us initiative.
  • Greater Lynn Senior Services, Lynn, to support the Mobile Mental Health team.

  • Link House, Amesbury, to support an increase in staffing to address the growing mental health needs of clients in Salisbury and beyond.

  • The North East Educational and Developmental Supports Center, Tewskbury, to support services for individuals in Essex County with developmental disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  • YMCA of the North Shore, Beverly, to increase capacity to address students’ mental health needs post COVID.

Nonprofit collaborations receiving funding were:

  • Groundwork Lawrence, The Center, Merrimack Valley YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence and Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, to support collaborative efforts to distribute farmers market coupons to those experiencing food insecurity in Lawrence due to the impacts of COVID-19.

  • Groundwork Lawrence and The Center, to support the collaborative efforts to purchase 50 tablets with Wi-Fi capability that will be loaned out to elders in Lawrence affected by COVID-19.

  • Lynn Community Health Center and Bridgewell’s Recuperative Care Center, to support hiring a Home Health Aide to serve the needs of homeless and housing insecure individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Lynn Shelter Association, City of Lynn, My Brother’s Table and Lynn Community Health Center to support the building of a temporary shelter to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness in Lynn