Community Foundation Teams with Health Care Systems, Shelters to Aid Homeless

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation and affiliated individuals are providing $200,000 to area health care organizations and shelters to assist nearly 200 people experiencing homelessness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Community Foundation is working with a coalition of Central Oklahoma’s largest health systems and area shelters to provide a safety net for Oklahoma City’s homeless community. Beginning next week, the shelters will begin assisting many individuals who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 but have nowhere to shelter in place after discharge. The shelters will also assist others who do not require hospitalization but are symptomatic.

The Central Oklahoma Community Health Impact Team (COHIT) has partnered with Grace Rescue Mission and City Rescue Mission to care for these individuals through a grant from the Community Foundation and a large donation from one of its trustees.

Grace will shelter up to 40 individuals with underlying health conditions, and City Rescue Mission will shelter up to 150 others who have either tested positive for the disease, are awaiting test results or are symptomatic. The shelters will also provide food, laundry and cleaning services. They will not provide medical care, but facility staff will include nurses to monitor symptoms and connect patients with telemedicine and virtual care. The Homeless Alliance will serve as operational lead, helping to organize the shelters, contractors and funders.

The Community Foundation is providing a $150,000 grant from its 2020 Disaster Relief Fund, and an additional $50,000 is being donated by Community Foundation Trustee Ronnie Irani and his wife, Shahnaaz. Additional funding is being provided by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

“Vulnerable Central Oklahoma individuals experiencing homelessness really don’t have anywhere to seek safe shelter in this pandemic,” said Nancy Anthony, president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. “COHIT has been successful at identifying this problem as well as creating a solution to isolate these individuals to keep them safe along with others in our community.”

What is COHIT?
The Central Oklahoma Community Health Impact Team is a collaboration of four nonprofit health systems in central Oklahoma, including INTEGRIS Health, Mercy, OU Medicine and SSM Health St. Anthony that are working together to better address the health needs of our community. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma serves as an advisor, partner and resource to the team. In response to the Covid-19 emergency, COHIT has also collaborated with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, the Homeless Alliance, City Care, Oklahoma City Homeless Services, Oklahoma County, Grace Rescue Mission and City Rescue Mission.

Community Foundation’s Second Round of Grants Awarded to Six Organizations Helping with Covid-19

Nearly $1 Million Awarded Through Emergency Response Grants Created at Community Foundation

In the second round of grants distributed from the 2020 Disaster Relief Fund, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation is awarding $81,500 to six central Oklahoma charitable organizations who are providing direct services and assistance to individuals impacted by Covid-19.

The announcement of these six grants comes two weeks after the Oklahoma City Community Foundation first awarded grants to help central Oklahoma organizations helping with the Covid-19 pandemic. The Community Foundation has awarded a total of $385,750 to seven central Oklahoma organizations since the establishment of the 2020 Disaster Relief Fund in late March.

The Community Foundation has received 76 inquiries requesting more than $1.7 million, but has remained focused on awarding grants to support health care, isolation issues for the elderly and economic support for vulnerable populations.

Additionally, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation has awarded $611,950 through emergency response donor-established advised funds, bringing the total amount awarded through the Community Foundation’s 2020 Disaster Relief Fund and the donor-established advised funds to $997,700.

The following six organizations are receiving the second round of 2020 Disaster Relief Fund grants:

HopeHouse OKC | $10,000 to provide transitional housing for families experiencing homelessness, helping mitigate the long-term effect increased unemployment rates could have on at-risk families.

Hope is Alive Ministries | $15,000 to fund partial rent payments for individuals residing in sober living houses who are at risk of eviction.

Center for Employment Opportunities | $10,000 to fund a transitional work crew of individuals formerly involved with the justice system who are facing significant barriers involving workforce reentry.

Sisu Youth Services | $16,500 to support an emergency shelter for youth experiencing homelessness.

Metropolitan Better Living Center | $20,000 to help the adult day care facility deliver food and other at-home services to clients’ homes instead of at the facility.

Community Health Centers of Oklahoma | $10,000 to provide personal protective equipment for staff and patients at the Mary Mahoney Memorial Health Center and Healing Hands Health Care Services (for the homeless), as well as provide medication for individuals experiencing homelessness.