COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund Made Through 2021

While our state and local communities continue transitioning from pandemic response to long-term recovery and action, Connecticut Community Foundation established the COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Fund with the support of generous seed funding from a cross-section of individuals, private foundations, corporations and others.  Through the Fund, we have invested in long-term nonprofit capacity building, in improving access to preventative services and systems, and in systemic change that will have lasting positive impact across our region. Grants from the Recovery and Resiliency Fund have focused on equitable outcomes for residents, by prioritizing grants to organizations serving high need, vulnerable populations.


To date, $484,497.50 has been distributed from the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund to organizations for the purposes listed below.


Capacity Building and Systems Change ($77,990)

  • Brass City Harvest: Food System Supplementation and Transportation– $5,200 to support the continuation of free, contactless delivery of fresh food and dairy products to primarily senior citizens residing in senior housing or private residences during the continuation of the pandemic ($2,700 of the request). Additionally, the request would provide $10 match of SNAP benefits to 250 people with disabilities.
  • Cheshire Community Food Pantry: Pantry Saver Software – $4,290 to purchase Food Pantry specific software designed to improve tracking, create efficiencies and save time. The Pantry is currently seeing a rise in need stemming from COVID-19 and is spending 40-50 hours on reporting each month. New software will allow the organization to redirect volunteer time towards serving clients. The Pantry is seeing a 30% rise in clients and a drop in the number of active volunteers. Better tracking of client data and donors can help bring more funds into the organization.
  • Connecticut Community Foundation: Adaptive Leadership Cohort for Small Nonprofits – $25,000 to fund a regional capacity building cohort program focused on adaptive leadership for nonprofits with budgets near or under $1 million dollars. The cohort will focus on the importance of adaption and change management, which has become even more important during COVID-19. This program is aligned with the COVID Recovery and Resilience Fund’s stated priority to increase nonprofit capacity and resilience to bounce back from both the pandemic and future challenges.
  • La Bodeguita de La Gente: Food Distribution Program Covid-19 Relief– $10,000 to support food program operations including PPE, personal hygiene supplies, medication, vehicle fuel for deliveries in Waterbury.
  • Public Works Partners: Waterbury System-Building Project– $28,500 to work closely with the City of Waterbury’s Mayor’s Office, Connecticut Community Foundation and United Way to conduct a comprehensive landscape analysis and best practice research, facilitate an Advisory Committee, and develop recommendations for a health and human services coordination entity within the City of Waterbury. The purpose of this project is to ensure the community is poised to address systemic issues around access, funding allocations and resources specifically as it relates to the health and human service infrastructure in Waterbury.
  • Radical Advocates for Cross Cultural Education (RACCE): Organizing Students and Parents to Advocate for Racial Justice- $5,000 to expand RACCE’s capacity to promote meaningful engagement with residents and to encourage the equitable distribution of COVID Relief Education Funding. RACCE will hire two organizers to collect and present stakeholder input through a companion plan that highlights student and parent recommendations on how to invest federal funds. Activities will include: virtual town halls, neighborhood canvassing, a social media campaign and survey, and the promotion of online advocacy tools.

Equitable Employment ($50,000)

  • Vincent DePaul Mission of Waterbury: Merriman Culinary School Program – $50,000 to provide culinary job training for individuals facing high barriers to employment while creating a living wage job opportunity and a more equitable economy. This program will welcome adult students who face barriers to employment, including histories of incarceration, substance abuse, homelessness, or long-term joblessness, in order to provide economic opportunity and a sustainable change for their futures.

Housing and Eviction Prevention ($146,120)

  • Connecticut Bar Foundation: Connecticut Right to Counsel Program – $50,000 to support the CT Right to Counsel Fund, which was recently established for the purpose of providing eligible tenants, lessees and occupants who are at risk of eviction with access to legal representation at no cost. With the end of the eviction moratorium, eviction rates are expected to be very high, and the need for adequate advocacy and representation will be crucial to avoid unnecessary or avoidable evictions, which lead to economic disruption and, often, homelessness. The grant will help to ensure that the right-to-counsel program is effective and adequately funded in the future.
  • Naugatuck Valley Project, Inc.: Affordable Housing Initiative – $26,120 to create a new paradigm for talking and acting in support of the urgent need for more affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families in every community in the Naugatuck Valley. NVP, in collaboration with TEAM, Inc. will employ community organizing methods to find, train, and activate dozens of leaders, working in their own communities and with other leaders regionally, to build a new Naugatuck Valley-wide affordable housing campaign effort with TEAM. 
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury: Rental Relief– $20,000 to support hiring two new staff who will conduct outreach and engagement for families and individuals applying to the UniteCT Rental Assistance program. Funding will also support an auditing position, which ensures that families with pending applications are able to submit a completed file to the state for review.
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury: Agency Revolving Loan Fund – $50,000 to support a community development effort that will redirect assets, opportunities and resources toward people and communities most impacted by the inequities in the financial system, and disproportionately impacted financially by the pandemic. NHSW’s CDA Revolving Loan Fund will offer an alternative to the traditional banking system. The fund will provide low-interest loans to residents and business owners who have been unable to secure conventional financing.

Ongoing COVID-19 Response Fund Efforts ($60,000)

  • Connecticut Community Foundation: COVID-19 Response Fund– $50,000 to ensure that funding is available for responsive grants made to support organizations that are continuing to provide basic needs such as food, transportation and housing supports, PPE, and child care.
  • Operation Fuel: Emergency Energy Assistance– $10,000 to provide emergency energy assistance grants to 560 low- and moderate-income, energy insecure families living in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) had ordered utility companies not to shut off utilities until the COVID-19 crisis eases, but that protection has now been lifted. Steep fuel price increases are expected to exacerbate fuel insecurity this winter.

Reopening Support ($30,760)

  • Mount Olive A.M.E. Zion Senior Citizens Center, Inc: Senior Center Safety– $3,760 to purchase PPE such as hand sanitizer, thermometers, masks and disinfectant, which will allow the Center to reopen the senior center and offer programming. Funding was paid from Pathways for Older Adults.
  • Naugatuck YMCA: Infant and Toddler Daycare Expansion– $15,000 to expand the infant and toddler childcare program to accommodate an additional 12 children.
  • Shoreline Arts Alliance: Re-Opening Theaters– $12,000 to support the Alliance’s outreach to performing arts organizations in the Foundation’s region. Consulting will include support from the Yale School of Public Health. Organizations will receive practical advice on how to re-open safely, whether they need equipment or other safety measures to do so, and how social distancing can be maintained in indoor spaces.

Technology ($52,677.50)

  • Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies: Technology for Waterbury TANF Clients– $10,000 to purchase Chromebooks for families that are engaged in TANF case management services in the Foundation’s region. Clients will be able to use technology for online job training programs and other remote services now being offered by the Connecticut Department of Labor. This is not a new program. CCFSA has distributed 40 laptops to TANF clients through another sources of funding.
  • Community Solutions: Chase Center Technology Needs– $8,170 to purchase laptops and software for the re-entry program located in Waterbury. The purchase will allow for social distancing of clients and staff when conducting intakes, and will allow clients access to technology for job searches. This program was hit particularly hard by the pandemic with twenty cases of COVID in staff and clients. One staff person died after contracting the virus.
  • Mount Olive A.M.E. Zion Senior Citizens Center, Inc: Senior Center Technology– $19,507.50 to improve technology for seniors in safe environment which include laptops, Zoom subscriptions, web cams, mobile hot spots, tables, and chairs. Funding was paid from Pathways for Older Adults.
  • Naugatuck YMCA: Seniors Staying Connected- $15,000 to create a “Media Center and Library” with internet connected iPads for Naugatuck older adults to check out to stay connected with others virtually and gain access to online programming. Funding was paid from Pathways for Older Adults.

Vaccine Outreach and Education ($66,950)

  • Grace Baptist Church: Vaccine Transportation and Outreach– $8,450 to support staff time and transportation costs related to increasing the number of older adults and Waterbury residents of color who receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Funds will allow Grace Baptist to use existing transportation resources to connect residents to open vaccine sites where they need transportation. The program will run for 22 weeks or through the end of August.
  • Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury: Staffing for Vaccine Appointment Scheduling and Transportation for the South End– $7,000 to extend case manager and director of operations hours, which will increase the capacity of staff to schedule vaccine appointments at the South End Clinic. Funding will also be used to support transportation to and from the clinic. Funding was paid partially from Pathways for Older Adults.
  • Vincent DePaul Mission of Waterbury: Gift Card Incentives for COVID-19 Vaccine– $1,500 to purchase 60 – $25 gift cards that will be distributed to individuals served by St. Vincent De Paul who choose to get vaccinated at a mobile clinic. The Mission is collaborating with Hartford Health to administer vaccine clinics at both the soup kitchen and shelter locations. Increasing the vaccination rate of clients is a priority of the shelter, as the organization considers reopening their indoor soup kitchen and providing other close contact services.
  • URU, Inc.: Our Faith Communities– $50,000 to support a Waterbury- and Naugatuck-based COVID education and outreach campaign that includes the following components: Community Readiness Assessment, Partner Support Coordinator, Risk-communication visual campaign, and Town Halls.