BY JASON COHEN
To address the immediate needs of Bronx residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, community leaders, including government officials, nonprofits, businesses and residents came together and launched the Bronx Community Relief Effort.
The goal is to raise $10 million to support food insecurity, small business relief, distributing microgrants, personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline responders, nonprofit economic relief, connectivity and technology gaps, equity and justice and housing stability.
Among the people involved were Assemblyman Michael Blake, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., CEO of HUB/Third Avenue Business Improvement District Michael Brady, Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez.
“The Bronx Community Relief Effort will go a long way in providing such assistance, now and in the future,” Fernandez said. “I am thankful and proud to see it established.”
Fernandez told the Bronx Times these issues have been in the borough for decades and aren’t going away.
“It goes back to the Bronx’s history of being the throw away borough,” she said.
The assemblywoman stressed that soon the 90-day moratorium for evictions will be up and thousands are worried they will be homeless. Furthermore, many people have been calling her office worried about how to pay for funerals.
“How are people going to bury their loved ones,” she said.
The funds will be dispersed as follows:
- $2,000,000 for food insecurity – In partnership with World Central Kitchen, Here to Here and The Bronx Private Industry Council will deliver 50,000 meals a day;
- $1,500,000 for small business relief – In partnership with the Third Avenue BID and Spring Bank, distributes between 100 to 175 grants to small businesses. Grants are between $5,000 and $25,000;
- $1,500,000 toward distributing microgrants – In partnership with CUNY, the Third Avenue BID and Spring Bank, distributes $250 to $750 microgrants to over 2,000 individuals in crisis;
- $1,000 for personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline responders – In partnership with Montefiore, St. Barnabas Hospital and NYC Health + Hospitals to distribute over 200,000 masks, visors, gloves and other protective gear to healthcare workers;
- $1,000,000 for nonprofit economic relief – In partnership with Hostos Center for Bronx Nonprofits, distributes between 50 to 75 grants to not for profits. Grants are between $5,000 and $50,000;
- $1,000,000 for connectivity and technology gaps – In partnership with Here to Here, DreamYard, Per Scholas, Knowledge House and others, provide 1,000 Chromebooks and hotspots and establish a community help desk and a tech support hub;
- $1,000,000 for equity and justice – In partnership with legal aid groups, such as Bronx Defenders, Legal Aid Society and others, ensures that 2,000 Bronxites are supported through their criminal, civil, child welfare and immigration cases during the New York stay-at-home order;
- $1,000,000 for housing stability – In partnership with Bronx-based housing organizations, such as Nos Quedamos, WHEDCo, New Settlement, Phipps Neighborhoods, ensures that social work, financial and health supports are available to 2,500 Bronxites during the New York stay-at-home order.
For more information and to donate, visit TheBronx.org. Checks can be written to The DreamYard Project Inc. and put Bronx Community Relief Effort in the memo.
Mail all checks to:
1085 Washington Ave.
Bronx, N.Y. 10456
This story first appeared on bxtimes.com.