DANE COUNTY (WKOW) -- The Dane County COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund is helping out several organizations to address immediate needs created by the coronavirus pandemic.
39 organizations and non-profits received funding on Friday to help address food, transportation, housing and other financial hardships.
It is especially helping out Bayview Foundation Inc., a non-profit that supports culturally diverse and low-income families through housing and other resources.
The foundation received $10,000 out of the initial $425,000 that went other organizations in the Dane County area. You can find the full list of grant recipients here.
The funds are specifically helping individuals feel at home during a time like this, especially immigrants like Nina Okwali, who came to the United States from Nigeria. She currently lives in the Bayview Townhouses.
“I’m not working right now, I take care of little kids. For the past two weeks, I haven’t done anything. No care, no money coming in,” Okwali said.
With money from the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, organizations like Bayview can continue to provide housing support, but also food and toiletries delivered right to their doorstep.
“When you don’t have anything and somebody stepped out to give, they reach out to you and give you what you need, it brings joy to your heart,” Okwali said.
With the additional funding, the Bayview Foundation is able to focus on providing more resources to residents in the community.
Lexi London, the executive director of Bayview Foundation said this extra funding is a relief, especially considering 30 to 35 percent of the Bayview residents lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
“This type of funding is critical and allows us to pivot quickly and figure out new ways to deliver services and support to residents, especially in the areas of food access,” London said.
London also added that the funds will allow for more emotional and mental health resources for kids who live in that community.
“We had one staff person yesterday have a 40-minute phone call with a child and they ended up playing a video game online,” London said. “I think that was incredibly meaningful to that child to have that connection with a program staff person who deeply cares about them.”
London said she feels relieved knowing that there is support coming from others and Okwali couldn’t agree more.
She shares this message with others in the area who are facing similar financial challenges.
“Just stay put, take care of your children, take care of yourself, keep healthy, and it shall be okay,” Okwali said.
The Bayview Foundation said beyond these services, they are looking for ways to bring internet access into households that don’t have them since hundreds of kids will be transitioning to online learning soon.