Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund partners award $1.18 million in second week of grantmaking

Community raises more than $6 million and counting to support frontline nonprofit organizations in Greater Cleveland

Release Date: 4.3.2020

CLEVELAND – The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund coalition announced today its second round of weekly grants to support the Greater Cleveland nonprofit community, which is facing unprecedented challenges during the ongoing pandemic. In total, $1.18 million was awarded to 17 organizations and groups serving Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. The significant grantmaking total this week is an effort to help organizations slow the rate of infection and flatten the COVID-19 curve now by immediately addressing the basic needs of residents throughout the region. Future weekly grant amounts may not mirror this same level of investment.

Food & Shelter

  • Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry ($285,000): To immediately reduce the number of people housed in local homeless shelters where the risks of the spread of COVID-19 are especially high by providing them with temporary hotel lodging that allows for safer social distancing.
  • Project Hope for the Homeless ($22,000): To expand staffing and hours at the only Lake County emergency homeless shelter, which has shifted its practices to house adults and families in a setting that complies with CDC social distancing guidelines.
  • Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland ($75,000): To adjust its practices to compensate for volunteer shortages and follow social distancing guidelines while responding to a significant increase in need for food, baby formula and hygiene products at its 72 hunger centers as well as food rescue donor and recipient sites across Cuyahoga County.

Comprehensive Basic Needs

  • May Dugan Center ($50,000): To continue making vital services and programs available for vulnerable residents – including its food distribution, trauma recovery center, MomsFirst program and behavioral health services.
  • University Settlement ($50,000): To provide Slavic Village residents with limited economic means a variety of critical services and resources, including relief boxes with food, hygiene and activity items, mailings with important health and community resource information, personal finance education and more.

Behavioral Health

  • Murtis Taylor Human Services System ($70,000): To fully implement telephone and telehealth service models for its lines of service – Behavioral Health, Family Center and Special Needs Childcare – for Greater Cleveland residents with low/fixed incomes.


  • David’s Challenge Young Achievers Ohio ($50,000): To re-start its operations – including the hiring of temporary staff and the purchase of needed technology equipment, food and other items – so it can provide social-emotional learning support to East Cleveland youth.
  • YWCA Greater Cleveland ($26,000): To continue providing emergency financial support (food cards, temporary housing, bus tickets, etc.) through the “A Place 4 Me” initiative for homeless youth in Cleveland.

Immigrants, Refugees & New Americans

  • Global Cleveland ($35,000): To continue to translate state and local information in order to raise awareness of critical resources (health, employment, food, housing, etc.) in nearly 20 different languages for Greater Cleveland’s international community.
  • HOLA Ohio ($50,000): To better facilitate access to medical care and unemployment assistance for the Latino and immigrant populations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, while also providing funds for help with basic needs including housing, bills, groceries, medicines and immigration fees.
  • Refugee Services Collaborative ($50,000): To institute a two-pronged effort aimed at reducing health and economic distress in Northeast Ohio’s refugee population by providing an emergency cash assistance program for necessities and instituting an emergency employment initiative to place applicants in temporary employment.
  • The Spanish American Committee ($50,000): To give food, utility and rental assistance stipends to low-income and elderly Latino populations in Greater Cleveland, while also providing clients with emotional and mental health resources and crisis financial planning assistance.

Other Vulnerable Populations

  • Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center ($75,000): To support a transition of services to telepractice over a 12-week period and support therapists, a care coordinator, and a deaf operations manager in designing and implementing new materials for remote speech therapy, audiology and deaf services.
  • Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center ($100,000): To help with the anticipated surge in domestic violence and child abuse in Cuyahoga County by providing funding for safe housing, technology costs, additional capacity for food, transportation and client assistance for basic needs.
  • Fairhill Partners ($55,000): To provide ongoing service for vulnerable older adults through emergency homeless sheltering, remote-access support for older relatives raising children, and continuing USDA food box and Senior Market fresh produce distribution.
  • National Church Residences Foundation ($37,000): To help provide for critical care needs of residents (food, paper products, and cleaning supplies) as well as supply building staff with the equipment needed to keep residents safe and healthy at its six affordable housing sites for older adults throughout Cuyahoga County.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Disabled Populations ($100,000): To support a consortium of nonprofit service agencies to purchase PPE for their collective 2,600 staff serving more than 1,600 clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other related challenges.

Overall contributions to the Rapid Response Fund now total more than $6 million from 41 different corporate, civic and philanthropic partners, including nearly $300,000 from individuals and families across the region. New funding partners (since March 27) include Dollar Bank; JoAnn and Bob Glick; Huntington Bank; the Mullin, Shank & Rehak Family; Robin and Jon H. Outcalt Jr.; and The Stone Family Fund in memory of Lael Stone, M.D. Funding partners urge other foundations, corporate entities, individuals and organizations to contribute to the fund via, where you can also view a list of partners to date. Donations of any amount are welcomed, and all contributions are tax deductible.

The partners plan to continue to make grants once a week through June, with the potential to extend grant opportunities as needed and as additional funding resources become available through new partners joining the effort. Frontline nonprofits that have pressing needs related to the COVID-19 crisis response should email to receive more information about the streamlined funding process. The funding collaborative will continue to identify potential grantee partners, solicit guidance on proposed projects from community advisors and recommend final awards. Organizations that have already submitted funding requests will remain in consideration for future grant distributions until further notice.

Based upon the charitable structure of the Rapid Response Fund, grants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations and other public entities. The partners are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5) and 501(c)(6) organizations.

For more information or to donate, visit

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