United Way distributes $500K in City of Bend CARES Act funding

In late July, the City of Bend allocated $500,000 to United Way of Central Oregon to assist vulnerable populations in the Bend community.

The funding came from state-directed Coronavirus Relief Funds, which were part of the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.

This week, United Way of Central Oregon distributed most of those funds to nonprofits serving vulnerable populations in Bend.

“United Way of Central Oregon helped the City quickly distribute critically-needed funding to local non-profits serving some of our most vulnerable community members in Bend,” said City Manager Eric King. “This partnership is helping us take care of and support our neighbors who need it most right now.”

Funded organizations thus far include: Bethlehem Inn ($32,802), Better Together ($100,000), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon ($12,500), Council on Aging of Central Oregon ($50,812), DAWNS House ($48,000), Every Child Central Oregon ($9,700), MountainStar Family Relief Nursery ($20,252), Open Door Café & Day Center (aka Bend Church; $5,000), REACH ($25,000), Latino Community Association ($21,892), Thrive Central Oregon ($100,000), and Volunteers In Medicine Clinic Of The Cascades ($24,222).

United Way used its proven volunteer-led Community Impact grantmaking process to review grant applications and allocate funds.

The CARES Act funding comes with a high level of financial accountability and reporting requirements.

This funding can only be used to pay for COVID-19 related expenses between March and December of 2020 that were not anticipated or budgeted and must be spent by the end of 2020. Nonprofits receiving funds must prove that they are not getting funds for the same expenses from different sources.

As the most reliable agency with capacity to reach our most marginalized community members and a community leader with a deep and longstanding familiarity of agencies serving Central Oregon’s most vulnerable, United Way of Central Oregon has emerged as a clearinghouse for COVID-19 funding and donations in our region.

Not only has the regional nonprofit been entrusted with distributing this $500,000 of CARES Act funding by the City of Bend, it has also been tasked with distributing $260,600+ of federal and county emergency food and shelter grants to organizations that are providing meals, clothing, housing, rent, and mortgage assistance in Deschutes County.

Some of those funds are also from the CARES Act. In addition, United Way of Central Oregon raised and awarded $295,000 to 44 local and regional nonprofits as part of its own COVID-19 Emergency Response, Recovery & Resilience efforts, launched with $50,000 in seed money from a corporate partner and touching the lives of over 65,000 people.

The agency says 26% of Central Oregonians are served by a United Way funded program or service.

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