More than $3.5 Million in Grants Deployed to Local Nonprofit Organizations Serving Residents Most in Need

Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund Led by The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago in Partnership with the City of Chicago

Chicago, IL – March, 2020 – The Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund has earmarked more than $3.5 million in grant support to 42 local nonprofit organizations serving the metropolitan Chicago region. The Fund established by The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago in partnership with the City of Chicago has raised more than $13.5 million since its March 17th launch thanks to local philanthropy, business leaders, and generous donors.

The first round of funding prioritized support to nonprofit organizations that provide community safety nets, such as emergency food and supplies, mortgage and utility assistance, as well as direct financial assistance due to recent job loss as a result of COVID-19. These grant recipients are a mix of broad reach organizations that have the infrastructure to deploy emergency services to a large number of residents; and targeted reach organizations that act as hubs in communities and serve hard-hit households. Both the broad and targeted reach organizations have extensive experience working with the immediate needs of the most vulnerable communities.

“Since we launched the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, we have been moved by the generosity of donors large and small that have come together to protect our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, who is also an expert in disease control and emergency response. “Through our collective action, we have been able to respond rapidly and provide valuable resources to those working on the frontlines to keep our neighbors fed, housed and cared for.”

The initial grant recipients are:
• Access Living
• All Chicago
• Alliance to End Homelessness
• American Red Cross
• Austin Coming Together
• Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
• Catholic Charities
• Chicago Federation of Labor’s Workforce and Community Initiative
• Chicago United for Equity
• Children's First Fund
• Claretian Associates
• Communities United
• Cornerstone Community Development Corporation (The Hub)DC
• Cradles to Crayons
• DuPage Senior Citizens Council (Meals on Wheels - DuPage)
• Enlace
• Family Independence Initiative
• Greater Chicago Food Depository
• HANA Center
• Heartland Alliance
• Inner City Muslim Action Network
• Jewish Federation - emergency food and financial assistance
• JOURNEYS | The Road Home
• Kenwood Oakland Community Organization
• Lawndale Christian Health Center
• Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
• Meals on Wheels - Chicago
• Meals on Wheels - Cook County
• Meals on Wheels - NE Illinois
• Metropolitan Family Services
• Mujeres Latinas en Accion
• Northern Illinois Food Bank
• Northwest Housing Center
• OAI, Inc.
• ONE Northside
• Ounce of Prevention
• Puerto Rican Agenda
• Resident Association of Greater Englewood
• Salvation Army
• Southwest Organizing Project
• Teamwork Englewood
• The Resurrection Project - Lift Up

“Across the region, nonprofit workers and volunteers are committed to serving our neighbors every day,” said Sean Garrett, President and CEO of United Way of Metro Chicago. “The Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund was created to ensure that these hardworking individuals and organizations have the resources they need to continue their great work. We are so grateful for the generosity of thousands of Chicagoans who are making this possible.”

To help the community navigate available resources, a list of Fund recipients, along with a short description of the services and support they are providing is available at

The Steering Committee of the Chicago Community COVID-19 Fund and its many stakeholders will continue to assess the needs of our community based on the evolving impacts of the pandemic on the Chicago region. The Fund was designed to be flexible so it can deploy resources to address shifting priority areas and expand to serve more community areas of high need. The Fund's Steering Committee will strategically coordinate with the City of Chicago and the surrounding counties, as well as with local nonprofit organizations to provide grants to meet immediate needs now, as well as develop strategies to address the long-term impact of COVID-19.

The Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund is governed by a Steering Committee that is tasked with approving grant recommendations and leading the Fund’s overall strategy as the impact of the pandemic on the region continues to evolve. Steering Committee members include:
• Sean Garrett, United Way MC (Co-Chair)
• Helene Gayle, The Chicago Community Trust (Co-Chair)
• Ellen Alberding, Joyce Foundation
• Adam Arents, IMC
• Donald Cooke, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
• Charlie Corrigan, JPMorgan Chase
• Gillian Darlow, Polk Bros. Foundation
• Deb DeHaas, United Way MC
• Shana Hayes, Northern Trust
• Evan Hochberg, Crown Family Philanthropies
• Bruce McNamer, The Builders Initiative
• John Palfrey, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
• Kristie Paskvan, United Way MC
• Angelique Power, Field Foundation
• Steve Solomon, Exelon Corporation

Individuals and organizations can contribute and find additional information about the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund by visiting

About The Chicago Community Trust
The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to strengthening the Chicago region and improving the lives of the people who call it home. For more than 100 years, the Trust has served as a trusted philanthropic partner, connecting the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to nonprofit organizations working to create lasting change. Following the creation of a new strategic plan in 2019, the Trust stands committed to addressing Chicago’s legacy of systemic inequity and closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap, while continuing to respond to the critical needs of our most vulnerable residents. The Trust administers more than $360 million in annual grant making as part of its commitment to equity, opportunity and prosperity for the Chicago region. To learn more, visit

About United Way of Metro Chicago
United Way of Metro Chicago fights for the health, education, financial stability and safety of every person in every neighborhood across the region. We advance the common good on both a regional and neighborhood level by focusing on the building blocks for thriving people and communities: access to quality health care, a good education, financial stability and ensuring people are safe. United Way’s Neighborhood Network Initiative supports and coordinates investment and programming in 10 city and suburban communities to address community challenges and improve the lives of residents. Join the fight at

Media Contacts:
United Way of Metro Chicago – Kiara Goodwin, 312-906-2291,
The Chicago Community Trust – Nina Alcacio, 773-484-6718,
Mayor’s Press Office – Jordan Troy, 312-744-9206,

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