COVID-19 Relief Fund - United Way of Northern Ozaukee

Throughout its 70-year history in Ozaukee County, the United Way of Northern Ozaukee has earned the reputation of being an organization that responds to emerging needs with impactful local solutions.

And while the coronavirus was unlike any challenge the organization responded to in the past, it knew something needed to be done – and fast. With $25,000 in seed funding from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s MKE Responds Fund, the United Way got a jumpstart in creating a relief fund that was able to quickly move resources to community-based organizations most affected by emerging health, economic and social impacts of the public health crisis.

The United Way worked in concert with the local nonprofit community, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Ozaukee County and Ozaukee County Health and Human Service Department to identify grant recipients. As part of its first wave of grants in March, the agency awarded a total of $47,500 to nonprofits that were supporting the community’s safety net services. Family Sharing of Ozaukee County, for example, was able to purchase additional food as well supplies to increase sanitation at its food bank.

A second wave of grantmaking in April focused on the mental well-being of the community. More than $56,000 supported the work of agencies that are on the front line meeting critical community needs. Starting Point in Grafton, for example, received funding to cover additional staff time to maintain its COPE hotline remotely. The 24-hour hotline provides information, referral services and support to people experiencing a crisis.

In discussions with both the county and its nonprofit partners, the United Way is anticipating a spike in the number of individuals and families seeking rent and energy assistance, said Barbara Bates-Nelson, executive director. The organization also is working with the local school district and county to see how it can ensure that children still have access to food once the school food program ends in early June.

Visit the United Way’s website for a full list of the organizations it has supported through its coronavirus relief fund.

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Our Donor Resources – COVID-19 page offers information and tools for Foundation donors who want to help.