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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Williamsburg Community Foundation releases 2nd round of emergency grants. This one to focus on housing, health ‘for those hardest hit’

The Williamsburg Faith In Action is one of several organizations helping with food pantry assistance. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of WFIA's Facebook page)
The Williamsburg Faith In Action is one of several organizations helping with food pantry assistance. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of WFIA’s Facebook page)

Seven local nonprofits that are helping area residents “maintain their health and economic stability during the pandemic” will receive emergency funding from the Williamsburg Community Foundation.

This is the second round of grants from the foundation and a total of $57,600 has been deployed so far – it plans to distribute the next round of grants in mid-June, and applicants will be invited to apply using a streamlined process to ensure the funds will be used to help local residents as soon as possible.

The foundation is not charging any fees to the manage the fund. This round of grants continues to focus on food, housing and health needs of those most impacted by the pandemic, particularly those who have lost jobs or who are otherwise vulnerable populations, according to a news release from the foundation.

Because of COVID-19, many local residents no longer have employment-based health insurance. To help these families and those residents already using the safety net clinics, Rx Drug Access Partnership will use grant funding to cover the cost of mailing prescription medicines to patients from Olde Towne Medical & Dental Center, in order to minimize the risk of exposure and help patients who have limited access to transportation.

The $25,500 will be distributed to:

  • Avalon Center will use its grant funding to cover the cost of housing single domestic violence survivors in a local motel, as their typical shelter does not maintain adequate social distancing for these clients. Many Avalon clients are unable to find employment right now, and therefore cannot afford rent, so this program will ensure safe shelter until they are able to find stable employment.
  • Williamsburg Faith in Action, which typically serves primarily seniors, will use its grant to support a new partnership with three local nonprofits to deliver food to homebound individuals of any age.
  • Williamsburg House of Mercy continues to address food insecurity for low-income families, as well as the need for housing.
  • Salvation Army will use its grant to help families with rent, utilities and food, particularly food for high- risk seniors. Salvation Army has already seen an increase in demand for food, with 70 percent of that increase from households that have not requested help before the pandemic.
  • Housing Partnerships will use its grant to help repair homes of low-income families, many of whom cannot afford to make such repairs due to loss of hours or furlough during the pandemic. It is especially important that these aging homes are safe during the quarantine when families spend the majority of time in the home.
  • Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels will use its grant to feed vulnerable populations, including children. The demand for their services has skyrocketed during the pandemic, said director Cathy Upton.

Community Emergency Response Fund for COVID-19

In March, Williamsburg City Council members Benny Zhang and Doug Pons, kickstarted the Community Emergency Response Fund – it now has more than $178,000 thanks to more than 135 local donors.

For those interested in applying for other types of grants, not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the next grant deadline will be June 17. Details can be found here, or call the office with questions at 757-259-1660 or email

To make a contribution to the Community Emergency Response Fund, give online or send a gift to Williamsburg Community Foundation, 1323 Jamestown Road, Suite 103, Williamsburg, VA 23185.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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