Last updated: October 19, 2020
A strength of philanthropy is being a trusted convener among community stakeholders and bridging the public and private sectors. In times of disaster relief as the community is overwhelmed with the immediate and response stage, funders can act as a neutral partner to influence and facilitate important relationships that are critical to effective long-term coordination and ensure voices from the community are present and have power at the table. Long-term relationships are an important foundation to ensuring buy-in for successful systemic change to build more equitable communities for all and the recommendation in this section reflect that long-term vision.
New recommendations (but not examples) are denoted with ***
Public-Private Partnerships Engagement
- ***Hold local stakeholders accountable by following up and asking questions on how the decisions to use flexible Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars in the CARES Act have been enacted so that we ensure populations most affected are being prioritized and to build a foundation for equitable recovery.
- ***Monitor possible subsequent relief packages and use public-private partnerships to influence and ensure that homelessness and housing needs are prioritized in coordination with other public agencies. Funders should also work to make sure that homelessness grantee partners have a voice in the implementation of any possible additional funds.
- ***Identify communities and people who are not being equitably supported during the response and recovery and bring together local government and community stakeholders to ensure these populations are being prioritized.
- Through public-private partnerships, resource a “Housing Stability Lead” to coordinate state and local action and act as the main point of communication for housing stakeholders, including financial institutions, property owners, renters, housing counselors, and legal aid organizations. Advocate for and resource this position to become long-term to assist during the recovery and rebuilding period.
Examples & Resources:
- Leadership Structures to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic - Community Solutions
- Project Homekey - State of California: Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), $600 million in grant funding will be made available to local public entities, including cities, counties, or other local public entities, including housing authorities or federally recognized tribal governments within California to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing. Of the $600 million in Homekey grant funds, $550 million is derived from the State's direct allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Funds (CRF), and $50 million is derived from the State's General Fund.
- Philanthropy Cannot Be Expected to Fill the Gap in Rental Assistance Caused by Lack of Government Support – Funders Together to End Homelessness
- Heading Home MN funder collaborative: This statewide collaborative believes that a strong public private partnership that is focused and collaborative can effectively end homelessness in Minnesota. But it also requires shared goals by state, local and tribal government, philanthropy, business, faith leaders, and housing and service providers and a plan that is created alongside people with lived experience and those in communities most impacted.
- In Chicago, a regional Funding Pool is Helping Chronically Homeless Get Off the Street and Into a Permanent Home – Polk Bros Foundation
Building and Brokering Community Relationships
- Offer your organization and staff as resources of information or identify a partner who can compile, analyze, and communicate best resources and guidance.
- Be firm and vocal about prioritizing populations that are not typically funded through Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), such as youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.
- Utilize relationships within the private sector to build support and push for the acquisition and conversion of unused property (like hotels or office buildings) for long-term solutions to replace congregate shelter models.
- Community foundations, already seen as committed to supporting the betterment of their community, should leverage the relationships they have with local leaders from all sectors to ensure that homelessness and equity are at the forefront of policy and funding decisions.
- ***Identify and build relationships with new sectors and partners to coalesce and align on new sources of funding for COVID-19 recovery support so that relationships are solidified and healthy for long-term planning and action.
- Provide a virtual convening space for multi-sector community leaders to think strategically about the recovery process. Ensure people with lived expertise are in decision-making seats at the table and provide resources to compensate for their time and knowledge.
- ***Find and fund alternative ways to bring people together on a regular basis to keep relationships strong and set up the conditions to coordinate and act quickly when needed.
- Bring partners and funders from other intersecting systems like health, employment, education, immigration, and legal justice, to do long-term strategy cross-systems work on an on-going basis.
- ***Start identifying and reaching out to cross-sector partners to design coordination for equitable vaccine distribution, especially to historically marginalized and vulnerable communities like people experiencing homelessness.
Examples & Resources:
- Momentum Fund – This fund provides grants to 501(c)(3) organizations that manage COVID-19 funds and is working to working to emphasize the importance of positioning grantmakers as equal partners with the nonprofits to which grants are disbursed, and other partners in the respective communities.
- Greater Washington Community Foundation Invites Area Residents to Put the Future of the Region “On the Table” - Greater Washington Community Foundation
- Chicago Homelessness and Health Response Group for Equity (CHHRGE)
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is working to connect the experts with government officials and local health agencies like Public Health Seattle & King County.
Health Pathways Charts a New Course in Care for People Experiencing Homelessness - United Way of Greater Los Angeles
- COVID-19 LA County Response Fund - California Community Foundation
- CF Leads – The Critical Role of Community Foundations