AJL has heard from families, nonprofits, and peers, and reports and articles show that during this crisis (and any crisis), families and youth can most benefit from cash to pay rent and bills, buy food and purchase essential items. Additionally, early articles and reports are showing that communities of color and undocumented communities are bearing the brunt of the crisis. Given these two realities, AJL distributed emergency response funding to organizations that are distributing cash directly to families and individuals of color and/or are undocumented, as well as social justice organizing groups to help ensure critical voices are not overshadowed by the impacts of the epidemic. Each organization received a $10,000 program support grant for their respective fund and a $2,500 general operating support grant for their organization.
Chinook Fund: Another World is Possible Fund
Chinook Fund supports grassroots organizations working on issues of social and economic justice; by pooling their collective resources, they seed groups making a positive, systemic impact to improve the quality of life for all Coloradans. They partnered with Transformative Leadership for Change to launch Another World is Possible Fund which is a vehicle to invest in the social justice organizations who are fighting for both a just response to COVID-19 in the short-term AND a visionary future for our world in the long-term.
CrossPurpose: Direct Services and Essential Needs
CrossPurpose is a nonprofit organization with a mission to abolish relational, economic and spiritual poverty through career and community development. Since 2012, CrossPurpose has served almost 300 graduates making $15 or more at a meaningful career, ultimately lifting over 700 people and children out of poverty. For every dollar invested, the social return on investment turns in $8.80, and CrossPurpose graduates have accrued over $7.6M in wealth collectively.
Impact Charitable: Undocumented Workers Fund
Impact Charitable's mission is to boldly move capital to boldly change the world. They have created the Undocumented Workers Fund which will provide one-time direct cash transfers in the amount of $500 - $1,000 USD to undocumented workers in the hotel and restaurant industry who have been recently laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their goal is to empower undocumented workers to address their most pressing needs (food, rent, bills, health, travel, etc.)
La Puente: Direct Services and Essential Needs
La Puente (current AJL grant partner) is the community’s response to the effects of poverty by providing a safety net of services, where individuals and families get what they need to stabilize, heal, strengthen, and ultimately thrive. La Puente provides emergency shelter, family resource center, social enterprises, food bank network, children's program, clothing and outreach.
Project VOYCE: Direct Services and Essential Needs
The mission of Project VOYCE (current AJL grant partner) is to partner with youth to cultivate transformational leadership that addresses the root causes of inequity in underrepresented communities by training, employing, organizing, and building equitable youth-adult partnerships. The funds will be used for: 1) emergency stipends for youth leaders to support their families, 2) purchase of educational items for parents/caregivers to use with younger children, 3) gift cards to grocery stores and 4) rent assistance. They are striving to make sure all funds stay in the communities most impacted by purchasing supplies from locally owned businesses.
San Luis Valley Immigrant Resource Center: Direct Services and Essential Needs
The San Luis Valley Immigrant Resource Center is a safe place for people to go to address immigration related questions and needs. The center provides services in an area where no other aid is available and is a geographically remote area in south-central Colorado. It is one of Colorado's lowest-income regions, with much of the population living below the poverty level. Their services include immigration legal assistance, battered immigrant assistance, crime victim housing and outreach language project.
Sistahbiz Global Network: The Sistahbiz Stimulus Package and Emergency Fund
Sistahbiz Global Network (a current AJL grant and PRI partner) is a business accelerator providing affordable options for coaching, training and services to help Black women build scalable, sellable models and access the back office support, financial and social capital to grow their businesses. Many of their entreprenuers' and solopreneurs' businesses have lost significant sales or had to close down completely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Sistahbiz Stimulus Package and Emergency Fund was created to provide mini-grants to Black women business owners who are experiencing little to no income due to COVID-19. The grant will assist with rent, utilities, and any other essential needs the women and their families have. Each entrepreneur can apply for a grant up to $2500.
Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado: Bridging the Gap Initiative
Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado (a current AJL grant partner) is committed to helping improve the social and professional trajectory of minority leaders by exemplifying effective leadership and they do this by bridging the gap between what one may have and what they may need. In response to the drastic changes in their community caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they launched the Bridging the Gap initiative which will provide small stipends/grants to help with household expenses, limited operational grants for small businesses and entrepreneurs to support operating expenses, and virtual live stream sessions centered on professional development, health and wellness, emotional wellness and social engagement.
In addition to grant funding, AJL made an equity investment in a local company, Knotty Tie Co., that employs, supports and pays a living wage to members of the refugee community to help enable them to manufacture face masks to help address the shortage caused by COVID-19. Read more about this program related investment here.