53 Bay Area LGBTQ Organizations Awarded $440,000 through Horizons’ LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund

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53 Bay Area LGBTQ Organizations Awarded $440,000 through Horizons’ LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund

April 23, 2020, San Francisco – Horizons Foundation, the world’s first LGBTQ community foundation, today announced the first round of grants from its LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund: $440,000 in emergency funding to 53 Bay Area LGBTQ organizations. These grants will fund COVID-19 responsive programming and provide immediate financial relief to critical community institutions.

“Bay Area LGBTQ organizations have been hit hard by this pandemic, reporting deep cuts in revenue even while coping with spikes in demand,” said Horizons’ President Roger Doughty. “But our community is resilient and compassionate, and together we will get through this crisis. We’re especially grateful to the scores of donors who’ve given generously to this special fund.” 

The 53 grantee partners, which represent all nine counties of the Bay Area and the community’s rich diversity, are responding to the pandemic in bold, creative ways, especially in support of the most vulnerable in the LGBTQ community. For example:

  • Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, through its Housing First Initiative, is providing emergency rental assistance to low-income LGBTQ individuals.
  • Openhouse and Lavender Seniors of the East Bay are holding virtual meetings, delivering meals, and staying in contact with hundreds of  at-risk LGBTQ seniors facing isolation.
  • Solano Pride Center is offering free virtual counseling and case management; emergency food assistance; and weekly support groups for youth, people living with HIV, and seniors.
  • The Deaf Queer Resource Center, in the absence of many virtual events that are accessible in ASL, is working to fill the gap by offering virtual social spaces to support and inform Deaf LGBTQ community members struggling with various issues related to COVID-19.
  • Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) is supporting Black transgender and gender non-conforming community members coming out of California prisons and San Francisco jail by providing emergency hotel rooms and essential needs during the shelter-in-place orders.
  • API Equality - Northern California (APIENC) is coordinating a phone tree and virtual healing and community gatherings, in order to help queer and transgender Asian-Pacific Islanders fight isolation and heal from racial discrimination, which the pandemic has exacerbated.

Horizons has raised over a half million dollars for the LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund. To seed the Fund, Horizons contributed $200,000 from its endowment. Horizons’ donors and donor advisors contributed in excess of $130,000, and the Blue Shield of California Foundation contributed $100,000. Also, the Hewlett Foundation and California Wellness Foundation, in support of the effort, allowed the repurposing of funds from previous grants. 

Horizons continues to accept donations for the Fund; 100% will go directly to the community. “The need remains tremendous as we continue to receive grant applications from the nine SF Bay Area counties,” said Francisco Buchting, Horizons’ Vice President of Grants, Programs, and Communications, “and it is only likely to  grow.” 

In addition to the Fund, Horizons has compiled a list of resources for local LGBTQ organizations, and is hosting webinars for nonprofits and professional advisors to support the LGBTQ community in navigating the economic fallout of this crisis.

Horizons also recently signed an open letter urging officials to take action about nondiscrimination in care protections, ensure LGBTQ data collection in COVID-19 reporting, and redress economic harms.

About Horizons Foundation

Horizons Foundation (www.horizonsfoundation.org) envisions a world where all LGBTQ people live freely and fully. The world’s first community foundation of, by, and for LGBTQ people, Horizons invests in LGBTQ organizations, strengthens a culture of LGBTQ giving, and builds a permanent endowment to secure our community’s future for generations to come. In 2020, Horizons is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Learn more at horizonsfoundation.org.