Vibrancy Under Siege in COVID-19 America
Photo detail at Randyland
What a week.
In a matter of days, the rapid spread and quarantine response to cornonavirus disrupted our physical and mental routines like nothing we have seen since 9/11. The economic fallout has been swift, especially for employees, 1099 gig economy workers, and small business owners. As many as 1 million people filed for their first week of unemployment benefits this week. Businesses and their employees who cannot go virtual, like healthcare, construction, food, transportation, and hospitality, face a tough decision between paycheck and potential exposure. Many of them have now been deemed non-essential and forced to shut down.
In the short term, resources should prioritize the critical human service and economic needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. This crisis has shed further light on the cruel nature of a system that promotes centralized wealth but keeps people in poverty, the health and well being of older adults and youth in the shadows, and our small businesses disadvantaged. Help us to better understand urgent needs in your community and advocate for the just use of recovery resources by completing this brief COVID-19 Crisis Mitigation Needs Assessment.
Some of you have grant funds, skills, and resources which can be mobilized immediately. Leaders should consider collaborating with other organizations, reallocating funds, and shifting short-term programmatic strategies to help mitigate negative impacts on those they serve. Many grant makers are supporting the flexible use of funds. Locally and Nationally, a growing number of foundations are pledging no ‘business as usual’. This unexpected move to a virtual environment has also left many nonprofits and small businesses scrambling to adapt. Help us to best support you via this Technical Needs Assessment.
New Sun Rising and our Board of Directors have always valued innovation and the associated risks, the power of integrated solutions, and continuous adaptive learning into the delivery of our capacity building and accessible funding efforts. In this spirit, NSR is announcing two new rapid response programs:
- Fiscal Sponsorship – Critical Projects allows for accelerated due diligence, approval, and onboarding processes for charitable initiatives that directly support human services, health and basic needs, or access to life sustaining funds. Applicants are encouraged to apply online in order to determine eligibility.
- Crisis Mitigation Relief Fund will provide $1,000 to $2,500 and technical support for small businesses and nonprofits who demonstrate critical economic needs as a result of unemployment or underemployment during the COVID-19 crisis. Follow NSR social media and website for program eligibility and application details as they become available. Make a contribution to this fund and help us to support the urgent needs of more people. Special thanks to the Hillman Foundation for your early support.
Where we’re going.
Government leaders are deploying a war time approach to mobilize manufacturing and economic stimulus that will total billions of dollars. One reality of war is this significant flow of financial resources, both in the short term mitigation phase but also during the longer term recovery. While we agree that immediate concerns are top priority, we encourage citizens, businesses, nonprofits, and elected leaders to consider your role in advocacy and use your power to guide accountability towards a just and human centered crisis response. As billions or more are about to pour into our communities, we must signal to systemic gatekeepers that we are willing, able, and necessary to lead an effective and equitable recovery.
Lastly, please know that New Sun Rising and our partners are here to listen and to consider any collaborative approaches to promote and protect community vibrancy. We remain committed to taking action through triple bottom line community development (culture, sustainability, and opportunity). Our core values of inclusion, adaptation, and place-based solutions will continue to guide our work. On behalf of the NSR team, we would also like to extend our gratitude to the front line healthcare, social service, and other workers who are taking on personal risk while providing essential support.
Take care of yourself and family. Check on your friends and neighbors. Be well.
Scott Wolovich, Executive Director