At the Samaritan House, demand for food amid the COVID-19 pandemic is “up 50 percent per week,” and calls for rental assistance are “through the roof,” according to CEO Bart Charlow.
Keeping up with increased demand, however, isn’t easy for nonprofits during this difficult economic time. The Samaritan House, which provides healthcare services, children’s clothing, food support, financial assistance, case management and more to the community’s most vulnerable populations, initially had to postpone its main fundraiser of the year due to the pandemic. It later decided to transition to a virtual fundraiser.
The community has in many ways stepped up in support. Local restaurants and caterers have provided food to distribute, and furloughed workers, students, families and community groups have put themselves on the frontline to volunteer, said Charlow in an opinion piece in the San Mateo Daily Journal.
The Samaritan House also recently received support to maintain its healthcare clinic services thanks to the Sequoia Healthcare District, which launched a $3 million emergency relief fund and plan last month to help its nonprofit partners maintain safety-net services. The healthcare district has been a partner of the Samaritan House for over 20 years. “They came to us right away and asked how they could be helpful,” Charlow said.
“Being able to keep our community healthcare clinics open, so that vulnerable populations can get care for non-coronavirus issues, keeps emergency room space open and provides an essential service for those in need,” Charlow added.
Sequoia Healthcare District CEO Pamela Kurtzman said service providers like the Samaritan House “are stepping up to meet unparalleled demand.”
For that same reason, San Francisco-based technology company Ripple is providing $1 million in emergency support to the Samaritan House. The company recently pledged $5 million for Bay Area food service providers.
“This will make a significant dent in what we know will be a big need as we deal with long-range impacts of the current crisis,” the Samaritan House posted on Facebook.
More help is needed as the demand for services rise while the sources of future funding remain uncertain.
To learn more about the Samaritan House and to make a donation, visit its website here.
Photo Credit: Sequoia Healthcare District/Twitter