Brighton Center of Northern Kentucky has seen a 300 percent increase in the number of families requesting help since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is one example of the demand hitting social service agencies across the Greater Cincinnati region during this global crisis that has landed in the region’s backyards.
"For the people we work with in situations like the COVID-19 crisis, the stakes are much higher,” said Tammy Weidinger, President & CEO of Brighton Center. "Many of our clients are working but are not quite making enough money to not have to worry about their bills. The stress for this group is tremendous and the unknowns brought on by COVID-19 weigh on them just as much as not having basic things."
Brighton Center typically serves families that are working, but still struggling to make ends meet, with a mission of helping them achieve self-sufficiency.
While some families need immediate stabilization with emergency services and support, many clients are either participating in job-training programs and working to develop long-term financial sustainability or are on fixed incomes.
The organization spent $10,000 more than usual to purchase food for clients during week two of the crisis. Many were waiting on applications for government assistance to be approved, or for stimulus checks to arrive, Weidinger said.
Thanks to the generous support of the Greater Cincinnati community, the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund activated by United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Greater Cincinnati Foundation was able to assist with food for seniors and families and rent for working families.
"We serve clients in job-training programs who've lost their jobs as servers and now can't pay their April rent," Weidinger said. "We're getting many calls for diapers, food and foreclosure prevention. We're grateful for the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund for helping us keep our workforce safe, employed and helping our community."
Since its launch, the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund has distributed directly to nonprofit organizations serving our region’s most vulnerable individuals and families affected by COVID-19. The fund is a cross-sector regional response to quickly address the critical needs of our community activated by Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) and United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC).