Collage of COVID grantees carrying out essential work during the pandemic

Week 23 & 24: COVID-19 Response Grants

In partnership with our generous donors and supporters, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is pleased to announce that an additional $63,000 was granted to five organizations in Week 23 & 24 of our COVID-19 Community Response Grants.

These grants will provide sleeping bags to people experiencing homelessness, support for local teachers, child care for youth, and medical equipment and supplies free of charge to organizations in need.

COVID-19 Community Support Fund Grant Recipients:

Week 23:

Week 24:

The Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH) and the City of Tucson Housing & Community Development Department are working to address the critical shortage of blankets for people experiencing homelessness in Tucson.

Jason Thorpe, TPCH Lead Agency Representative, shared that while normally these blankets are provided through the U.S. Department of Defense, the funding this year is delayed, leaving many experiencing homelessness vulnerable to the winter season.

Regarding the state of shelter accommodations in Tucson, Thorpe stated, “Tragically, shelter availability during the winter months is significantly limited this year as a result of the pandemic. Congregate shelter facilities are reducing at approximately 50% capacity throughout the community to allow for social distancing.” Thorpe emphasized that with this funding TPCH will purchase 1,000 cold weather sleeping bags for distribution through community agencies that provide services for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. 

The YMCA of Southern Arizona is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people realize their fullest potential through the development of Spirit, Mind and Body. Although the pandemic brought uncertainty, the Y has been able to remain focused on the essential services they provide to the southern Arizona community.

Kurtis Dawson, President and CEO of YMCA of Southern Arizona, shared that throughout the pandemic they have provided child care to over 1,300 children, made over 3,900 wellness calls to seniors, and provided 167,000 minutes of virtual wellness.

Dawson stated, “The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. The community support we have received during this challenging time has allowed us to continue to serve our community’s most critical needs, thank you!”

PMHDC Southwest Medical Aid (PSMA) provides essential medical supplies to organizations and communities in need, including Southern Arizona’s Tribal Nations.

Adairiz Yazno, PSMA Director, shared, “This award from the COVID-19 Community Support Fund promotes independence, pride, and well-being amongst thousands of individuals in the region, providing them with the medical resources necessary to remain healthy at home.”

Tucson Regional Educator Collaborative (TREC) provides professional development resources to teachers. During the pandemic, TREC has focused on providing support for teachers’ emotional wellbeing, as well as their students’ Social Emotional Learning (SEL). 

Jen Kinser-Traut, TREC Director, shared, “This CFSA COVID-19 Response funding will allow us to provide teachers support in the following ways: self-care and social emotional webinars, a dedicated SEL resource page on our website with on-demand webinars, identifying resilience constructs through shared readings, and a closed Facebook group for teachers to asynchronously build community while sharing resilience strategies. Thank you CFSA for providing this important funding to support our region’s educators!”