Pulling Together to Help Those in Crisis
As Nevadans struggle to overcome the economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 shutdown, nonprofits across the state are stepping up to provide emergency assistance. Those who have lost jobs or businesses are applying for aid in record numbers, asking for help to pay for food, rent, utilities, and other basic needs.
I’m impressed with how these agencies are continuing to provide vitally needed services even as they deal with restrictions like limiting the number of volunteers, practicing social distancing with their clients, providing personal protective equipment for their employees, etc. They carry on with their mission despite these obstacles because they know how much people are depending on them.
Even more impressive is how nonprofits are cooperating with each other to coordinate service delivery and create efficiencies. United Way of Southern Nevada and United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra have established emergency funds through donations from individuals, businesses and community supporters, and they also act as pass-through organizations for federal CARES Act emergency funding. Nonprofit partners can apply to their local United Way for grants to provide essential services such as food, shelter, and utility assistance.
Food banks are another example of making the best and most efficient use of resources. The Food Bank of Northern Nevada and Three Square in southern Nevada collect and warehouse food, then distribute it through a network of nonprofits and agencies. As a member of Three Square’s board of directors, I’ve seen firsthand how their system helps prevent waste and gets food quickly to where it’s needed most.
Charitable organizations are working around the clock to help our most vulnerable Nevadans, including the homeless population. The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities in both ends of the state provide emergency food and shelter. In southern Nevada, SHARE Village serves homeless individuals and families with low-cost housing and a food bank. The Las Vegas Rescue Mission, whose board our EVP Craig Kirkland serves on, provides meals to the homeless and also has a residential recovery program.
Our economy has survived many economic downturns, including the no-fly regulations after 9-11-2001 and the housing crash in 2008 followed by what’s called The Great Recession. Our local charities have always been there to act as a safety net until things improved, and they don’t often get the recognition they deserve. My heartfelt thanks go out to the nonprofits and community groups that are working together to help Nevadans during these challenging times.
Nevada has managed to pull through each crisis, and a lot of that is because we’ve all pulled together. Although the COVID-19 situation is certainly unprecedented, I’m confident we can get through this as well.
Nevada State Bank