United Way of Lake County - Lake County Relief Fund
As soon as the pandemic began affecting our community, we pivoted to mobilize resources and raise funds for emergency financial assistance.
The work we do at United Way of Lake County is solely for the benefit of the Lake County community and residents. This is why we established a Lake County Relief Fund. Our goal was to provide relief where needed as our community navigated the COVID-19 health crisis. Monetary donations from the fund were used to alleviate unforeseen needs brought on by the pandemic. We worked with our partner agencies and local nonprofits to identify critical needs and resource gaps and provided funds on a rolling basis.
Below is a summary of how the funds we raised due to the generosity of local businesses and residents were put to work. While we were able to meet many of our community's critical needs at the onset of the health crisis, our work is not done. Our community is in crisis and so many are struggling to stay afloat due to the economic impact the pandemic has had on jobs and businesses. Renters and homeowners are losing their homes and medical insurance, parents are struggling to put food on the tables for their children, pay utility bills, put gas in their cars and provide for the most basic of needs.
Read more about why United Way of Lake County is the best way to help the most people here. If you are in a position to do so, please help. Please make a gift today.
Food Pantries: Lake County food pantries are experiencing an influx of requests for food given school closures, layoffs and the need to ensure our high-risk elderly are fed. In response, we held our first emergency food distribution on March 18, 2020. We provided $20,000 in food to 40 local food pantries and are continuing to monitor needs and assist where needed. A list of Lake County Food Pantries we help support can be found here. Follow-up support was provided and continues to be provided even now.
Fair Housing Resource Center: We provided funds to the Fair Housing Resource Center to assist in keeping their service available to Lake County resident in need. The agency has experienced a substantial increase in the need for their services because of COVID-19. Landlord-Tenant call volume increase is in the 200-300% range. Residents including tenants, homeless persons, and domestic violence survivors are calling with unusually complex issues to seek information, guidance, and referral to financial rental assistance and legal help.
Home-Delivered Grocery Program for Seniors: After the COVID-19 ODH Stay-At-Home Order was put in place, we proudly teamed up with Laketran, Lifeline, Council on Aging, RSVP and the Lake County Board of Commissioners to provide relief to seniors in need of groceries, but concerned about leaving their homes. At United Way of Lake County, we helped fund this program to deliver groceries to homebound Lake County seniors 60 years of age and older who didn't have anyone to shop for them. Nearly 2,500 bags of groceries were delivered to assist those in need.
2020-2021 School Supply Distribution hosted by the Lake County Salvation Army (in leiu of the county's cancelled Back-to-School Bash): We provided funds for the purchase of school supplies that were provided to up to 1,400 Lake County children in need during The Salvation Army's Back-to-School School Supply Bash that took place August 8, 2020.
Project Hope for the Homeless: We provided funds over and above the normal support we provide Project Hope for the Homeless to help during the pandemic. The support we provided was put to work to assist with the extended hours the agency provided at the onset of the pandemic in compliance with Ohio's stay in place order.Their extended hours provided our community's homeless with safe refuge from the streets where they are vulnerable to falling ill.
Prescription Assistance Program: The Prescription Assistance Program of Ohio provides free prescriptions to those in need. We provided funds over and above the support we normally provide to help the agency meet the increased demand they faced from Lake County residents who lost jobs and health insurance. The agency fills prescriptions once a week. Click here for details on their program or call 440-352-1999.
Lake County Free Clinic: We provided funds to the Lake County Free Clinic above and beyond those allocated to them through our grant process to help uninsured and underinsured Lake County residents get needed medical care. The clinic experienced and continues to experience a great influx of need from those who have lost jobs and health insurance in the face of the Coronavirus. The increase in funds we provided is allowing them to help more of our friends and neighbors in need as we navigate our way through this unprecedented time.
The Lake County Free Clinic accepts appointments only by phone. They do not accept walk-ins. Should you or someone you know need care, call 440.352.8686, ext. 2.
Lake County YMCA: We provided the Lake County YMCA with funds to help support of their licensed pandemic approved child care centers for essential workers. The child care centers were located in Willoughby, Painesville and Mentor.
The Salvation Army of Lake County: We provided funds to help The Salvation Army of Painesville meet the increased demand for meals that they were facing due to the many residents who found themselves without adequate resources to acquire food, either from purchasing items at stores or through other community resources. The funds we provided were used to meet the needs of our community and to provide individually packaged, single-serve food items that could be packed in take-out containers. The funds also helped provide bottled water and non-food items which were used to package take-out meals.
How You Can Help
Now more than ever, we need to pull together and help one another. If you are in a position to do so, please consider making a gift in support of our work today.
OR, Mail a Check:
Checks should be made payable to United Way of Lake County and mailed to:
United Way of Lake County
ATT: Community Impact Dept.
9285 Progress Pkwy.
Mentor, OH 44060