Overview: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kent County, Heart of West Michigan United Way, in partnership with local foundations and funders and the Essential Needs Task Force (ENTF), has established the Coronavirus Response Fund. The fund will support nonprofits who are serving vulnerable populations throughout the county to meet their basic needs including shelter, food, resources to maintain employment and to sustain themselves during unemployment. We know many of our nonprofit partners are being stretched to capacity as they address the emergent and unanticipated community needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility: Applicants must be a local 501(c)(3) non-profit human service organization or a community collaborative/group using a fiscal agent and must continue to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding Priorities: In keeping with Heart of West Michigan United Way’s mission to unite community resources to invest in solutions to reduce poverty in West Michigan, we will prioritize organizations and groups whose continued work benefits vulnerable individuals and families in Kent County. This funding is not for financial capacity of the organization, rather it is to help the organization continue to provide basic need services. Applicants may use funding to support the following:

- direct service costs for basic needs and recovery services

- a decrease in critical volunteer capacity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

- an increase in staffing demands as a result of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

- other areas of direct and indirect services vital to the ongoing efforts to serve Kent County residents during and immediately following the COVID-19 pandemic crisis

Application Process: Heart of West Michigan United Way will be accepting applications from local non-profits on a continuous basis. The application can be accessed at the following link https://www.hwmuw.org/coronavirus-response-fund-grant.

An Electronic Funds Transfer Authorization form must be completed with the Response Fund Application and emailed to Emily Schichtel at eschichtel@hwmuw.org.

Applications received will be reviewed and processed within 24-48 hours during regular business hours. Any application received outside of this timeframe will be processed on the next business day. Organizations will be informed immediately of their application status. If approved, agencies will receive funds after notification of approval and confirmation of bank information. If you have questions, please contact Emily Schichtel at eschichtel@hwmuw.org or at (616) 752-8601.