BOISE — Since April, $1.3 million has been awarded to community organizations throughout the state as part of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho.
The grant money goes to organizations to help low-income families that are experiencing housing and food insecurity, domestic violence, as well as those in need of physical and mental healthcare.
One of those organizations, Advocates Against Family Violence, received a $23,400 grant. Their goal is to end violence and they serve over 500,000 individuals around Canyon County.
“We didn’t know how we were going to survive, honestly, so when we were able to receive this funding, and basically use it for whatever we needed to use it for to help us through this pandemic it was a lifesaver,” said AAFV Executive Director Kim Deugan.
They used the funds to purchase enough cleaning supplies to keep their facilities clean, to purchase equipment to switch to telehealth services so people could still see their counselor and they were able to pay their employee's hazard pay.
“We’ve always taken pride in keeping an extremely clean shelter and facility, but we really upped our game during this time and so it went to an on the hour every hour cleaning routine,” said Deugan. "And because we were able to switch to telehealth our counselor was able to serve more people."
They had 16 families in their shelter, 35 babies in their daycare and housing facilities to still take care of.
"We didn't know how we would survive," said Deugan.
But, when Idaho's Community Foundation partnered with United Way it made these grants possible.
“As COVID-19 spread, we immediately pulled together a partnership because we knew Idaho’s most vulnerable populations were going to need help and we can provide assistance to the organizations that help those populations,” said ICF Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer, Cara Walker.
For AAFV without the grant, they wouldn't have been able to continue their services especially with the increase in domestic violence cases during quarantine.
In total there were 115 grants made. 33 went to East Idaho, 30 went to Southwest Idaho, 28 went to North Idaho, 19 went to South Central Idaho and five went to organizations serving the whole state.
Here are the program areas and amounts that were granted to each throughout the whole state of Idaho:
- Childcare: $89,015
- Domestic Abuse Support: $165,040
- Food and Basic Needs: $506,275
- Mental and Physical Health: $184,250
- Housing: $370,610
AAFV is available 24/7 to assist those in need. You can call their hotline at (208) 459-4779, or visit their website www.aafvhope.org