The COVID-19 Joint Response Effort is closing its response fund this month after having distributed $5.8 million to individuals, families and nonprofits in Santa Barbara County.
The closure was announced Wednesday. It comes after a 15-month effort during which grant committee members, which included Aware and Prepare, VOAD, Hutton Parker Foundation, the United Way of Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara Foundation, met to distribute funds to nonprofits. The local United Way and Family Service Agency administered the grants to individuals.
The fund provided support for organizations that were meeting the needs of the most vulnerable.
“These grants have been a critical lifeline for families who are struggling to stay housed and meet basic needs during this crisis,” Steve Ortiz, CEO of the United Way of Santa Barbara County, said in a news release. “We are honored to have the trust and support of so many generous donors and partners as we work to distribute these funds and provide significant relief to Santa Barbara County individuals and families.”
Tom Parker, president and CEO of the Hutton Parker Foundation, said the foundation sought immediate ways during the pandemic to maximize philanthropic support. “As a result, the COVID-19 Joint Response Effort Fund was formed to respond to this unprecedented emergency, to evolve as needed and to now successfully sunset.”
— Dave Mason