After 30 years of being homeless, John* was ready for a permanent place to live. Against heavy odds, he had secured a housing subsidy and found an affordable rental—no small feat in a region known for its exorbitant housing prices—and faced only one final hurdle. He needed enough money for a security deposit on his apartment. In Silicon Valley, this could be up to $4,000, and John didn’t have the cash.
Under normal circumstances, New Directions, a community-based case management program that provides supportive services to homeless individuals like John, would have worked with other service providers in the community to help John come up with the security deposit. Unfortunately, the current pandemic has drained many community funds and exhausted resources, and New Directions’ partners could not offer their normal assistance. John was in danger of losing the affordable housing unit he had worked so hard to find, and in danger of staying homeless.
In early April 2020, New Directions received a grant from Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund. New Directions was able to use part of this grant to provide the “last mile” funding for John to cover his security deposit. After three decades, John is off the streets, ready to address his chronic health needs and in a place he can finally call “home.”
Check out the list of nonprofit organizations that have received grants from our Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund. The list is being updated regularly.
Stories like these embody the spirit of our work in the recent weeks. As COVID-19 took hold of our communities, SVCF has been working tirelessly to help those facing impossibly difficult circumstances to stay afloat during this crisis. Through our three COVID-19 response funds, we have distributed more than $13.3 million in grants to help support our community’s low-income individuals and families, nonprofits and small businesses.
As of April 27, 2020, SVCF has granted:
- $8,332,000 to support low-income individuals and families across the 10 county Bay Area through the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund
- $3,198,000 to support Bay Area nonprofit organizations through the Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund
- $1,800,000 to support small businesses in California through the Small Business Relief Fund
These grants make stories like John’s possible: Donors gave to SVCF; we gave to New Directions; New Directions helped John secure affordable housing amidst a global pandemic. In the coming weeks, we will feature more stories of local heroes—donors, nonprofits, businesses—to highlight the power of our community coming together and helping lift each other out of this crisis.
To learn more about our COVID-19 response funds and to donate, click here.
*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals