addressing immediate needs during the Relieve phase

July 7, 2020

Grantees enumerate how funds help them fulfill the basic human needs of Evanston families. 

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) addressed immediate needs of the community in the Relieve phase of its work. With ECF community members leading the way in vetting and rating proposals, our team provided grants to nonprofit organizations and small businesses with a focus on feeding, housing, and providing remote access to learning for families with children. Here is what the grantees shared with our team:

  • District 65, PTA Equity Project, Evanston Public Library: This grant allowed 200 students to access remote learning through a Chromebook. In addition, the families will be keeping the Chromebooks (versus loaners from the district) which will allow them to access ongoing educational technology and provide more academic opportunities from them in the future. This grant served an immediate present need in a way that will also provide long lasting positive impact.
  • Family Focus: This grant has allowed us to provide much needed resources for our most vulnerable participants. Many have lost their jobs or have had a reduction in hours, making it difficult to provide the basic needs for their families.
  • Gyros Planet: My husband and I started feeding the Latino community last April with the savings that we had. When I heard about the help that ECF was providing to help businesses like mine to feed the community in Evanston, I felt hopeful. Since we've received the grant, we have been able to provide free lunches to the Latino community during the month of April. We knew that without this grant our dream of been able to feed more than 26 families was not possible.
  • Meals on Wheels: This grant gave the ability to add a part time staff person to accommodate more clients (we were already at our max cap) and allowed us to cover increased food expenses. It will continue to make an impact in the coming months and years.
  • YWCA Evanston/North Shore: The grant from Evanston Community Foundation allowed us to rapidly respond to the COVID stay-in-place order. It allowed us to address the health and safety needs of the survivor families we serve by reducing the population of our shelter to provide a private room and bathroom for every client or client family. Initially, we were able to move 6 women into hotels and, by the end of April, all shelter residents had to be relocated. Food/meals were provided for all.