UPDATED October 19, 2020:
Volunteers needed to help hospitals and community providers with COVID-19 Response - Click Here for More
COVID-19 is top of mind for all of us. As your local United Way, we are continuing to share with you the latest information regarding our response.
United Way of Greater Waterbury is staying on top of the situation and is fully operational supporting our non-profit partners and working with appropriate officials to ensure our community's health and safety. We are working with our partner agencies along with local medical professionals, volunteer leadership and the City of Waterbury to ensure everyone is up to date on the latest resources available and to ensure all parties have the support they need as we continue to respond to the fluid situation.
We have developed and invested in a joint fund with the Connecticut Community Foundation to meet the needs of local agencies who are helping those in need and our community. There is an opportunity for individuals and companies to contribute to the fund. Please CLICK HERE to learn more about donating to the fund and for information on requesting support for your organization. Several grants have aleady been approved and are at work in our community.
Through Friday, October 16, the committee has approved $592,867 in grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund. Grants include:
Basic Needs & Utility Assistance: $26,200
- Catholic Charities, Inc.: Waterbury Family Center Support for Basic Needs- $7,500 to support additional case management for families in need and to purchase gift cards for groceries.
- For Right Now: Support for Families- $3,000 to support families effected by COVID-19 (including purchasing food, household items, and gas for deliveries).
- Litchfield Community Center: Community Essentials Fund- $3,200 to purchase food and essential items (such as personal hygiene products and household cleaning supplies) for low-income families from Litchfield and Morris.
- Operation Fuel: Emergency Assistance for Families- $12,500 to provide emergency energy assistance to families living in the greater Waterbury area who have been impacted financially by the coronavirus.
Connection to Services: $23,050
- Naugatuck YMCA: Senior Programing during COVID-19- $4,050 to support the salaries of outreach staff that are coordinating care for older adults in Naugatuck.
- Police Activity League of Waterbury, Inc.: COVID-19 Volunteer Support- two grants totaling $2,000 to purchase gas cards for volunteers delivering food and other essential items to high-risk individuals.
- Waterbury Mutual Aid: (fiscal sponsor Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury) COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network- three grants totaling $17,000 to support the expansion of a Mutual Aid network in Waterbury and to provide direct assistance, including food delivery, to families who are economically insecure due to COVID-19.
Education Supports: $4,000
- Connecticut Junior Republic: Chromebooks for Distance Learning- $4,000 to purchase Chromebooks to be used by students and instructors to access and participate in remote learning programs.
Emergency Childcare: $83,781
- Easterseals: Childcare for Essential Workers- $10,000 to help cover the costs associated with reopening the Waterbury childcare facility and providing care for the children of essential workers. Funds will support additional supplies, staff and cleaning costs.
- Greater Waterbury YMCA: Emergency Childcare Services – three grants totaling $31,060 to support the operation of the emergency childcare for first responders, which is not covered by state funding for childcare for medical personnel.
- Greater Waterbury YMCA:
- New Milford Youth Agency: Youth Agency Childcare Program- $5,500 to offset increased childcare cost for families due to COVID-19.
- Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut: YMCA Camp Greenknoll-$2,500 to support camp expenses for low-income children from New Milford, Bridgewater, Roxbury, or Washington.
- Team, Inc.: Family Childcare – TEAM Shared Services Network- two grants totaling $20,000 to provide direct relief and support to Family Child Care Providers in greater Waterbury in order to ensure they can remain open and viable in the long-term.
- The Pratt Nature Center: At Risk Care- $3,416 – to support the New Milford based nature center to provide outdoor childcare for children of essential workers and those identified by New Milford Public Schools as high risk. Funding will support physical structure improvements to increase the number of children that can be served.
Food Security: $133,158
- Brass City Harvest: Farmers Market/Senior Food Delivery Program- $5,300 to hire staff and purchase supplies to support increased access to the Waterbury Farmers' Market for older adults during the summer months.
- Caring for Bethlehem, Inc.: Bethlehem Food Bank- $1,000 to cover the cost of food distributed to Bethlehem families with increased need during COVID-19.
- Community Culinary School of Northwestern CT: Food Bank and Senior Meals -$4,200 to support the cost of increased food distribution, purchasing paper goods, personal protective equipment and increased staff time for meal prep and delivery.
- Community Services Council of Woodbury: Woodbury Food Bank- Emergency Food- $4,000 to purchase food and household products for distribution to Woodbury families and individuals in need and to support the additional cost of personal protective equipment for food bank staff and volunteers.
- Connecticut Food Bank, Inc.: Supporting the Emergency Food Assistance Network- $10,000 to support additional food and supplies distribution to towns in the Foundation and United Way’s region, as well as staff time during COVID-19.
- Connecticut Partnership for Children, Inc.: Food and Basic Needs Distribution to Families- two grants totaling $9,728 to support food delivery for Naugatuck families sheltering in place and to purchase food for school and community-based food pantries.
- Food Rescue US: Food Rescue US - Northwest Connecticut- $5,000 to purchase dairy and other food from farms that would otherwise go to waste and redistribute to food pantries in Litchfield County.
- Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries: Soup Kitchen and Emergency Food Pantry- two grants totaling $15,000 to support the costs of increased staff time, food and supplies to operate the soup kitchen and food pantry.
- Mental Health Connecticut: Independence Center Meal Delivery Program- $8,000 to cover the cost to provide meals and household supplies to participants of the Waterbury Independence Center, which provides services to adults with mental health conditions.
- Naugatuck Valley Community College: Food for NVCC Students who Access the On-Campus Pantry- $5,000 to support food delivery for students who had been receiving support from food pantry on the Waterbury campus.
- New Opportunities, Inc.: NOI COVID-19 Community Engagement Fund- three grants totaling $37,810 to purchase 500 five-day emergency food packs, to support Meals on Wheels drivers’ salaries, to increase the capacity to deliver meals to older adults and disabled residents.
- Salvation Army: Meals for Shelter Guests during COVID-19- two grants totaling $23,120 to support the cost of four weeks of meals for families staying in the shelter during COVID-19.
- Western Connecticut Areas Agency on Aging: Emergency Senior Meals on Wheels- $5,000 to support the increased cost of meals and staffing during COVID-19 in the following towns: Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Cheshire, Goshen, Litchfield, Middlebury, Morris, Naugatuck, New Milford, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Roxbury, Southbury, Thomaston, Warren, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury.
- New Opportunities, Inc.: Rapid Rehousing- Rapid Exit Support- $2,250 to purchase home necessities for rapid rehousing participants, such as sheets, mattresses, and utensils. Support will assist up to 15 households with these items.
- St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Waterbury, Inc.: Support for Shelter, Soup Kitchen, Pantry and Residential Services- two grants totaling $49,300 to support the cost of extra food and supplies at the shelter, soup kitchen and food pantry, the purchase of personal protective equipment and cleaning products for COVID-19 conditions, and additional staff and administrative expenses due to the crisis.
- Supportive Housing Works: Northwest CAN COVID Response: $30,000 to support housing, food and transportation expenses for homeless individuals. Funding may also be used to support staff and administrative expenses due to the COVID-19 response. Supportive Housing Works is the regional administrator of the Waterbury/Litchfield County Coordinated Access Network (CAN) that is designed to assist homeless households to move quickly out of homelessness into permanent housing.
- Supportive Housing Works: Street Outreach Effort- $20,000 to support outreach to the homeless population in Waterbury that is not currently served by the shelter system and increase access to resources and permanent housing.
Medical Services & Telehealth: $58,018
- Bethlehem Ambulance Association: Technology Purchase- $1,500 to purchase a computer that will increase capacity for training and compliance for ambulance staff.
- City of Waterbury Department of Public Health: Evzio Auto-Injector Naloxone HCI Injection Kits- $22,000 to purchase 100 Evzio Auto-injector naloxone HCI injection kits for use by emergency responders in the City of Waterbury.
- Danbury Hospital: COVID-19 Relief at New Milford Hospital- $5,000 to help offset costs associated with obtaining supplies and equipment, including needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare providers to keep them healthy and safe as they care for patients; increased staffing; and increased costs to clean and sanitize overflow units on the Hospital’s second floor.
- Human Resources Development Agency: Increased Medical and Basic Needs Transportation- $3,198 to support the hiring of a part-time driver to extend the hours of transportation in the morning to Naugatuck seniors who need to shop and pick up medication during designated times.
- McCall Center for Behavioral Health: COVID-19 Communication- $1,320 to purchase phones and calling cards for clients who live in the following towns: Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Cheshire, Goshen, Litchfield, Middlebury, Morris, Naugatuck, New Milford, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Roxbury, Southbury, Thomaston, Warren, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury.
- St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation: COVID-19 Medical Response Efforts- $5,000 to support the hospital’s COVID-19 response efforts.
- Wellmore, Inc.: Telehealth Start Up- $10,000 to support equipment, video conferencing and increased bandwidth to serve clients through telehealth.
- Women’s Choice Charitable Association: COVID Pregnancy Support- $10,000 to provide pregnancy and birth support services to low-income families in need and women of color who are pregnant.
Personal Protective Equipment and Cleaning Supplies: $133,690
- Ability Beyond Disability, Inc.: COVID Support for Adults with Disabilities- $2,690 to pay for a deep cleaning of group homes and vehicles for facilities operating in New Milford, Wolcott, and Prospect.
- Central Naugatuck Valley HELP, Inc.: PPE and Cleaning Supplies- $5,000 to help cover the costs of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for residential programs located in the Response Fund’s region.
- Chrysalis Center, Inc.: Community Supportive Housing- $5,000 to support supplies, food and other equipment needed to keep residents and staff safe during COVID-19.
- Community Solutions: Waterbury Chase Residential Center- $5,000 to support supplies, food and other equipment needed to keep residents and staff safe during COVID-19.
- Connecticut Renaissance: Waterbury Programs- $5,000 to support supplies, food and other equipment needed to keep residents and staff safe during COVID-19.
- Grace Farms Foundation: Bulk PPE Purchase-$95,000 to purchase PPE, including surgical masks, Nitrile gloves, and face shields for distribution to nonprofits in the greater Waterbury region.
- Naugatuck Senior Center: Support to Provide Safe Senior Services- $6,000 to support the purchase of a laptop, printer and answering machine, outdoor tent, personal protective equipment, and signage and materials needed to promote social distancing.
- Oak Hill: Community Programs and Oak Hill School- $5,000 to support the purchase of PPE and other essential supplies at twelve group homes in Watertown, Waterbury, Thomaston, Oxford and Middlebury that serve 72 individuals with disabilities.
- Wolcott Volunteer Ambulance Association, Inc.: COVID-19 Emergency Supports- $5,000 to support additional equipment, staffing costs and food expenses during COVID-19.
Support for Undocumented Communities: $20,400
- Kadiwaku Family Foundation: Food & Non-Food Assistance to Undocumented/Immigrant Residents - $3,000 to assist Waterbury families who have been left behind or do not qualify for government assistance programs during the coronavirus pandemic period. The funding will help provide them with food, sanitation and hygiene supplies, and other necessities.
- Naugatuck Valley Project: NVP 2020 Domestic Worker/Homeless Families in Need- two grants totaling $12,900 to provide food, rent and medical assistance to families of domestic workers, homeless and undocumented families unable to access other financial supports.
- The Neighbor Fund: CT UndocuFund- $4,500 to provide financial assistance to undocumented individuals and families that have suffered a loss of income or other financial loss due to COVID-19 and live in following towns: Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Cheshire, Goshen, Litchfield, Middlebury, Morris, Naugatuck, New Milford, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Roxbury, Southbury, Thomaston, Warren, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury.
Technology to Improve Services: $9,020
- Key Human Services: COVID-19 Relief- $1,200 to support technology costs that will increase connections for group home residents to family and community members.
- The Arc of Litchfield County (LARC): Laptops for Remote Workers- $7,820 to support the purchase of laptops to support staff in working remotely due to social distancing.
In addition we have joined with our fellow Connecticut United Ways across the state in a statewide response to help those financially affected by the Pandemic. Together, we have created the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund (Fund). The Fund is working in tandem with other philanthropic efforts being coordinated statewide. It will rapidly deploy financial resources to individuals and families economically affected by the pandemic, including those who are out of work or have reduced work hours. In the coming days the Fund will identify the priority population who will be eligible for assistance.
More Than 1,000 Connecticut Residents Benefit from the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund
People Who Lost Jobs, Wages Are Downloading $200 Payments to Their Mobile Wallets
ROCKY HILL, Conn. (May 13, 2020) — The Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund has announced that more than 1,000 households across the state have now benefitted from the Fund. The Fund is a unique joint effort launched by all 15 United Ways in Connecticut to help those who lost jobs, wages, or childcare, or who were otherwise financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Partnering with social service agencies across Connecticut, the Fund has identified those most in need of immediate monetary assistance. Through a system developed with EML Payment Limited (“EML”), beneficiaries are downloading $200 to their mobile wallets and are using the money to pay for basic household necessities like groceries and utilities.
A beneficiary from Groton shares her gratitude for the assistance: “Both myself and my husband are in the hospitality industry. I’m a Server and he’s a Master Chef in our local restaurants. We are currently out of work due to COVID-19. We learned about the United Ways Fund from Heidi McSwain at Groton Human Services. She contacted us immediately and shared much needed help. We will use this money to buy what our family really needs right now. Thank you!”
In Stamford, a resident stated, “It means so much not to have to worry about how I will pay the electric bill for a few months.”
Most people who applied to the fund identified food (76%) and paying for utilities (75%) as their most immediate needs, although housing (56%) and childcare (9%) were also identified as financial challenges. Data collected from their actual purchases (see chart below) shows spending patterns reflect those identified needs.
The 15 United Ways across the state of Connecticut joined together within days of realizing the economic ripple effects of the pandemic. They were able to create this innovative system because of the strong relationships they had with each other, the social service providers in their communities, and funders who had dollars they could commit immediately.
“We were getting funds to people within two weeks of when this crisis began,” said Kristen Jacoby, Chief Professional Officer of United Way of Greater Waterbury. “Our strong United Way partnerships with both social service agencies and funders meant we could stand this up quickly and get help to people just when they needed it most.”
The more funds that are raised, the more can be served. The Connecticut United Ways are not charging administrative fees for the Fund.
To date, the Fund has raised and is distributing nearly $700,000. Donors have included residents, state employees, and corporate partners and foundations, including: Aetna Foundation, Avangrid Foundation (parent company of United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Connecticut Natural Gas), Citizens Bank, The Connecticut Health Foundation, Connecticut State Employees Campaign, Eversource, Ion Bank, Liberty Bank, Medtronic Foundation, Newtown Savings Bank, Pitney Bowes, Travelers, Union Savings Bank, Walton Bissell Foundation, and Webster Bank.
Most beneficiaries of the fund are individuals and families that United Way calls ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). These are our hard-working neighbors who live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings to fall back on in an emergency like this. Many of them provide crucial services in our community—such as caring for our children and elderly parents. With no financial cushion, they are particularly vulnerable to the rapidly changing scenario our country now faces. United Way expects that the number of individuals and families in the state that fall into the ALICE income threshold will grow as the crisis continues.
City and town social service departments can call 860-493-6800 to learn how to get funds to clients in need.
To donate to the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund go to www.CTUWCovid19ResponseFund.org. Donors will have the option to pay a 3.09% credit card processing fee so that 100% of their donation can go directly to those in need. Connecticut United Ways will not charge any administrative fees on donations to the Fund.
Connecticut Residents Can Call 2-1-1 or text CTCOVID to 898211
City of Waterbury Residents Can Access a Local Hotline by Dialing 3-1-1
Governor Ned Lamont announced that the State of Connecticut is partnering with United Way of Connecticut to launch an information hotline for questions from the public regarding issues related to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). People who have questions can call 2-1-1 or text "CTCOVID" to 898211.
Answers to many of the questions people may have can already be found by visiting the state's coronavirus information website at ct.gov/coronavirus. People are encouraged to review that website for answers to their questions first before calling the hotline.
This information hotline is only intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider to seek treatment.
"We understand people have specific questions but we want to stress that this call center is only intended for general information. Anyone looking for specific medical advice regarding symptoms they may be experiencing is strongly urged to seek medical treatment," Governor Lamont said.
For Waterbury residents, the City has opened another emergency line: 3-1-1. You can also visit the City's website for the latest local updates.
Concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. The National Association of School Psychologists offers some help. Click Here to Learn More
United Way of Greater Waterbury is staying on top of the situation and is fully operational supporting our non-profit partners and working with appropriate officials to ensure our community's health and safety.
The United Way 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day. Multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment is also available.