GHF COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Outlook Through 2021
As our community continues to manage the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to update you on the pandemic’s impact on Georgetown Health Foundation (GHF), how we have responded, and to provide you with important information as we develop our operating plan through 2021.
In the spring of 2020, GHF created the GHF COVID-19 Relief Fund, a special grants process designed to assist our neighbors who were hurt most by the economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus. The first of the two funding cycles was implemented in May and funded in June 2020. The second funding cycle, scheduled for September 2020, will be implemented to continue to support programs assisting Georgetown individuals’ and families’ most immediate, basic needs, as well as to support the operations of safety net and health/human service organizations. The Request for Proposals (RFP) will be released and posted on our website in a few weeks.
Like so many other businesses and organizations, the pandemic is having an economic impact on our asset model. Thus, we anticipate making adjustments to our 2021 grant cycle. Based on the economic forecasts for recovery, we feel that the multi-layered stressors being experienced by low-income families – unemployment, loss of childcare, and escalating food and housing insecurities – call us to prioritize our 2021 grant funding to meet the immediate, basic needs of our Georgetown neighbors.
This decision was partly informed by the “5 R” framework employed in natural disaster response. Communities work through a process of Rescue, Relief, Recovery, Rebuilding, and Resilience as gradual, deliberate steps toward renewal. Much like a natural disaster, the coronavirus has caused devastation that will take time to address. In its wake, Georgetown and Central Texas are experiencing unprecedented unemployment. This, along with the forecasting of an extended economic recovery, guides us to focus on the first two “R’s”: Rescue and Relief.
Through the remaining months of 2020 and into 2021, we will work to retool our processes toward the Rescue and Relief phases of response to address our neighbors’ most pressing needs. As we work through our “5 R” response frame work, we will provide updates on our website. We look forward to continuing to engage with the community on how best to support our Georgetown neighbors.