The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Continues Support for Vulnerable Communities During COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Washington state, so does our community’s need for valuable services.
On Monday, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced $1.4 million in emergency funding focused on getting the state’s underserved populations the food, child care, and stability they need most during this time. The latest grants from the Foundation build on previous COVID-19 support focused on communities in the Pacific Northwest. To date, the Foundation has given $12 million to support local COVID response since the start of the outbreak.
Child care providers statewide have also hit a breaking point. Nearly 16 percent of child care providers have closed and almost half of early educators in the workforce have been laid off or furloughed. Almost half of child care providers in the state reported they are at risk of closure. To help these providers weather the pandemic and rebuild equitably, the Foundation and All in WA Child Care Initiative is prioritizing support for families and child care business owners who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), as well as those located in rural and remote areas that have been disproportionately impacted. So far, the child care initiative has provided flexible grants to more than 1,600 BIPOC owned, family child care business in Washington.
“The bottom line is that we need to urgently direct resources to address this crisis so no parent should have to struggle between their ability to secure care for their children and financially provide for their family’s needs,” said Deeann Burtch Puffert, CEO of Child Care Aware of Washington.
Meanwhile, the lack of data and awareness has made the pandemic’s health, economic and overall impact less apparent in other communities. Early research has shown that LGBTQ+ people have struggled, particularly related to job loss, healthcare access, and economic upheaval. And Native Americans and Alaska Native people have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. To help mitigate some of these impacts, the Foundation is partnering with the Pride Foundation, Na’ah Illahee Fund, and the Potlach Fund to help front line organizations get the resources they need.