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Sacramento, Calif. March 31, 2020 – Today, The Center at Sierra Health Foundation (The Center) announces the launch of a rapid response fund to support individuals and familes in Northern California most impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. This includes older adults, low-wage workers and their families, communities of color including Tribal communities, people living in poverty and/or rural isolation, under- and uninsured, unemployed and non-English-proficient residents. The fund will provide direct financial support to nonprofit organizations who serve these populations.

The mission of the Northern California COVID-19 Response Fund is to ensure vulnerable families and individuals receive assistance for essential supplies, food, rent, utilities and other basic needs, including access to health and human services, programs and protections available under local, state and federal law.

Sierra Health Foundation and The California Wellness Foundation launched the Northern California COVID-19 Response Fund with a combined investment of $150,000.

The Center will work with additional community organizations and private contributors, including businesses and private donors, to increase the fund and effectively and quickly deploy needed support to Northern California nonprofits working directly with vulnerable community members in a 23-county region. The region includes the counties of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba.

“Our community members and organizations need immediate relief; this fund allows us to tap into the existing networks and expertise of community organizations to provide needed support to those experiencing the immediate consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chet P. Hewitt, president and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and The Center, which has also launched response funds in Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley. “We are proud to spend our time, energy and dollars to build a bridge to necessary statewide and federal assistance for  families, individuals and organizations in Northern California.” 

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Individuals and institutions can make donations through the Donate4NorCal website. Donors are able to direct their donations through the Donate4NorCal COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to any of the listed priority areas:

  • Promote Family Economic Stability
  • Support for Vulnerable Children and Families
  • Support Services for Older Adults
  • Services for Those Who are Unhoused and Those Who Live in Over-Crowded Housing
  • Nonprofit Flexible Support

“The Sierra Health Foundation is a trusted funding partner with whom we share a deep commitment to advancing health equity in our state,” said Judy Belk, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation. “This pandemic will disproportionally impact vulnerable communities in parts of California where the need is high and the resources are limited. Addressing this crisis will require continued and collaborative efforts in both the near-term and months to come as communities deal with the devastating impact of COVID-19. We applaud Chet and his team in helping us ensure emergency funds reach all of California.”

The Center at Sierra Health Foundation will administer the funds, deploying directly to community organizations working closely in neighborhoods and communities throughout Northern California.