Our newest series, A United Thread, highlights the importance of pulling together to collectively serve our community through an unprecedented time. In each segment, we feature an organization awarded COVID-19 grant money through United Way of Central Carolinas.
As a result of the coronavirus crisis, our community’s most critical nonprofits are feeling the strain as they experience an increased demand for services while simultaneously navigating decreased financial resources. Within multiple counties across the Charlotte region, United Way of Central Carolinas established COVID-19 response funds in partnership with Foundation For The Carolinas, and with the support of corporations, local government and others to assist local nonprofits serving on the front lines.
In this segment, we connect with Jamall Kinard, executive director of Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance, to learn how the organization is navigating the pandemic.
How has COVID-19 impacted Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance?
Kinard: While Lakeview enjoys a strong sense of community many of our residents are vulnerable in that they do not have the resources to sustain the financial, physical and emotional impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The vast majority of our families have no financial cushion to rely on during any period of time when they are not receiving a paycheck.
The immediate impact on the community has been fear, which makes it hard for individuals to access and interpret information that is so critical to their health and safety. The other obvious impact is financial hardship. Lakeview families that have experienced a job loss related to the coronavirus are now struggling to access basic necessities – food, medicine, personal hygiene items and personal protective equipment.
How has the organization adapted the way it delivers on its mission during the pandemic?
Kinard: Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance’s 3E strategic plan is a framework focused on family stability and civic awareness in order to build programs to engage, educate and Empower the residents of Lakeview. Through our efforts around this strategic plan, the Alliance has become a trusted voice to the neighborhood and advocate for the neighborhood.
This has positioned the organization to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the neighborhood, as well as address immediate crises such as the coronavirus. We’re providing immediate support to our most vulnerable residents – the homeless, the elderly, the disabled and those who are impacted by financial stress – by ensuring that all have access to food, health products and critical information.
How is Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance using the grant money it received through the COVID-19 Response Fund?
Kinard: Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance is using the COVID-19 Response Fund money to continue to engage our residents through regular communication, both through community outreach efforts and messaging on our “Remind” app. We are being the primary source of accurate information around residents’ health, safety and access to resources.
In addition, we are monitoring our residents who are most vulnerable and assisting with facilitating their access to services. This includes delivery of gift cards to local grocery stores and pharmacies; delivery of health and personal hygiene items and personal protective equipment; coordination of safe and efficient transportation for residents who are essential employees; and coordination of connectivity for those who do not have internet access.
Outside of COVID-19, what is something people should know about Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance’s partnership with United Way?
Kinard: With this being a global pandemic, we are able to see that we are more alike than we are different and are committed to assisting all people with staying safe, healthy and accurately informed throughout the duration of the pandemic; assisting the most vulnerable families with their current financial strains by providing some form of economic relief to address immediate needs; and understanding how to perform this work through a racial equity lens.
Learn more about United Way’s COVID-19 response efforts here.