Local nonprofits receive $1M in coronavirus relief, with the bulk going to rental assistance | ParkRecord.com

Local nonprofits receive $1M in coronavirus relief, with the bulk going to rental assistance

Jewish Family Service to receive $420,000, mostly to help with rent payments

The Park City Community Foundation recently announced the local nonprofit recipients of $1 million in coronavirus relief grants. The bulk of the money went to Jewish Family Service to provide rental assistance to Summit County families in need.
Park Record file photo.

The Park City Community Foundation recently announced the recipients of $1 million in grants provided by Summit County’s federal coronavirus relief funds, with the bulk of the money going to one nonprofit to deliver direct aid to families struggling with the threat of homelessness.

Jewish Family Service was awarded nearly $420,000, most of which Executive Director Ellen Silver said would be used for direct assistance, like rent payments.

“We’re thrilled because it just gives us the opportunity to help people who are so in need right now,” Silver said. “There’s still people who are out of work, or families that end up having to quarantine, and so there’s no income coming in. And so this funding allows us to continue to provide much-needed assistance to them and make sure we have a community where everybody has a roof over their head.”

A nine-person grant committee dispersed the funds to 18 local nonprofits, with the other 17 receiving an average of around $34,000 in grants ranging from $5,000 to $85,000.

The Park City Community Foundation convened the committee, which included representatives from the service industry, the nonprofit community, local governments and both sides of Summit County, according to Diego Zegarra, the foundation’s community impact director.

Zegarra said the disbursements reflect the priorities the foundation learned through a community survey and in discussions with affected families.

“What we’ve seen … is that the No. 1 need still revolves around housing security, rental assistance,” Zegarra said. “So many of the folks that filled out our community survey indicated that they may have been working full time back in March, so many seemed to be underemployed and working a lot fewer hours today. So making rent was the No. 1 concern.”

Silver said she appreciated the trust the grant committee showed by awarding Jewish Family Service nearly half of the total pool of money.

She said the nonprofit has been working closely with Park City school counselors to identify families that need assistance. The nonprofit then facilitates payments to help with costs like emergency car repairs and housing. The payments are always made to a third party, Silver said, like the auto shop or landlord.

She said the nonprofit is also planning to use the funds to hire a bilingual care manager and to support mental health initiatives in the schools by offering mindfulness workshops for teachers.

Zegarra identified child care as another area of need in Summit County, and the committee granted $120,000 split between two child care providers, PC Tots and Park City School District Child Care.

Other recipients include the Park City Education Foundation, Christian Center of Park City, Peace House and the People’s Health Clinic.

The $1 million fund is 1/6 of the funding Summit County received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which was signed into law in March.

The county contracted with the Community Foundation this fall to dole out the funds, and officials at the time touted the nonprofit’s connection to the community and ability to ensure the money ended up where it was needed.

Zegarra said the foundation was grateful to be chosen. He added that the funds were earmarked for recipients who live or work in Summit County.

Silver said the funds Jewish Family Service received would go toward families that live in the county.

She expressed gratitude for the sizable grant and said the funding would enable Jewish Family Service to continue to help local families for months to come, with a budget that extends into June.

“The last thing we want is for people to be homeless during a pandemic in the winter,” she said.

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