“When nearly half of households in our community are already struggling to make ends meet, a public health crisis of this scale has the potential to cripple our region’s fragile workforce.”
NEW ORLEANS – United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) Friday announced the contribution of $100,000 to the Greater New Orleans Foundation Disaster Response and Restoration Fund to grow the coordinated regional response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“United Way supports the stability and well-being of our entire service area, which makes us especially concerned about the virus’ progression here at home,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA president and CEO. “When nearly half of households in our community are already struggling to make ends meet, a public health crisis of this scale has the potential to cripple our region’s fragile workforce.”
More than 237,000 households or 47% of Southeast Louisiana’s population live below the ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) threshold, which means they do not have enough income to afford even basic needs, like housing, food, transportation, child care, and health care, and are unable to save for emergencies.
The economic effects of measures necessary to slow the transmission of COVID-19 – the cancellation and postponement of events, school closures, and social distancing – will have a more significant impact on households living under the ALICE threshold who cannot afford to follow recommendations to avoid exposure, including staying home from work or accessing health care if they are ill.
UWSELA’s collaboration with the Greater New Orleans Foundation and its Disaster Response and Restoration Fund will ensure both immediate relief and long-term support to nonprofits that serve the most vulnerable residents of UWSELA’s seven-parish service area, which includes Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Plaquemines, and Washington parishes.
The Foundation has pre-registered over 20 organizations from across Southeast Louisiana to receive expedited funds, including VIA LINK, The New Orleans Council on Aging, Jefferson Council on Aging, and the Second Harvest Food Bank, which will receive immediate grants.
About United Way of Southeast Louisiana
For 95 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit UnitedWaySELA.org. Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.