Food, rent, and mental health support.
Those are just some of the needs in communities across Chicago, these last two years especially.
In that time, the Chicago Community Trust, along with the United Way of Metro Chicago, have partnered with community leaders to invest $35 million in neighborhood businesses and pandemic resources as part of a COVID-19 relief and recovery effort.
When the pandemic hit, Cecile De Mello, executive director of Teamwork Englewood, said clients immediately reached out for assistance.
“A lot of families really relied on that,” De Mello said. “[The pandemic] really shocked their budgets and household income, so we really needed to get support to those families ASAP.”
Soon after the pandemic started, Teamwork Englewood was able to get funds from the Trust and United Way, allowing for cash assistance and food delivery support for residents.
Kimberlee Guenther is the chief impact officer at United Way of Metro Chicago.
“Long term recovery means really supporting community driven and owned initiatives and supporting the expertise that exists in communities with resources, with relationships, and really equipping organizations with what they need to bring their incredible visions to life,” Guenther said.