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The Allstate Foundation and NNEDV Support Culturally Specific Domestic Violence Programs during COVID-19

April 27, 2021

In October 2020, The Allstate Foundation partnered with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) to provide $565,000 in grants to help 79 culturally specific domestic violence organizations offset hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful that The Allstate Foundation has provided more than one million dollars in grants to local domestic violence organizations over the past year, including these grants. (Read more about previous grant recipients here.)

Grants Funded by The Allstate Foundation Support 5,600+ Survivors

 Thanks to The Allstate Foundation’s generous funding this past fall, 79 local domestic violence organizations in 29 states, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were able to support 5,683 survivors during the ongoing stress and uncertainty of the pandemic.

The majority of these survivors come from diverse communities, including Asian and Pacific Islander survivors; asylum-seeking survivors; Black and African-American survivors; Deaf, DeafBlind, or Deaf Disabled Hard of Hearing survivors; Hispanic and Latinx survivors; immigrant and refugee survivors; Muslim survivors; nonbinary and transgender survivors; and survivors who have been incarcerated.

Survivors of domestic violence already face substantial barriers toward rebuilding their lives after abuse, and survivors experiencing racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other types of discrimination often benefit from the support and resources provided by culturally specific providers. Even small amounts of funding can make an enormous difference for the organizations that help survivors move forward. Keep reading to learn how The Allstate Foundation’s grants supported survivors and programs in need.

Grant Funds Provided Flexible Direct Cash Assistance for Survivors, a Desperately Needed, Yet Often-Unavailable Service

 As the pandemic continues to compound barriers to economic security, survivors (especially those in underserved communities) often need immediate financial assistance to meet their daily needs. Unfortunately, many domestic violence programs do not have enough flexible funding to meet this demand. Fifty-three grantees (67 percent) used funding to provide flexible cash assistance to help survivors pay for rent, utilities, gas cards, food, and other essential needs.

Grant Funds Helped Local Programs Keep the Doors Open When Survivors Need Them Most

Throughout 2020, many domestic violence programs were forced to divert funding to pay for unanticipated costs related to responding to the ongoing pandemic, including cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), hotel stays to help survivors maintain social distancing, technology to enable staff to work remotely, and more. Coupled with an inability to hold regular, in-person fundraising events and decreases in individual donations, domestic violence organizations are now facing substantial budget shortfalls. These impacts have been felt more acutely by culturally specific organizations that often already receive less funding and support than mainstream organizations. Thirty-eight grantees (48 percent) used funding to pay their own rent, mortgage, personnel, and other costs to ensure that they can keep the doors open and the lights on for survivors in need.

Grant Funds Increased Access to Lifesaving Safety Supplies

While product shortages from the early days of the pandemic have lessened, domestic violence programs are now incorporating new cleaning protocols and PPE regulations for staff and survivors. As a result, the costs for maintaining these systems are staggering. Thirty-three grantees (42 percent) used funding to secure necessary PPE and cleaning supplies to keep survivors and staff safe.

Grant Funds Allowed Programs to Provide Safe Housing for Survivors to Practice Social-Distancing

Overnight, many domestic violence programs needed to decrease their shelter capacities in order to practice social-distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19. This meant securing hotel or motel rooms for survivors, which is an expense that quickly adds up beyond programs’ budgets. Twenty-six grantees (33 percent) used funding to offset the costs of reserving these rooms.

Grant Funds Ensured Programs’ Ability to Provide Safe, Confidential Services

As domestic violence advocates quickly shifted to remote, online services, many programs found themselves spending beyond their budgets to upgrade their technology systems and secure tools that would ensure safe, confidential, and remote services for survivors. Twenty-four grantees (30 percent) used funding to purchase computers and other hardware, and twenty grantees (25 percent) used funding to purchase technology subscriptions and other related expenses.

Grant Funds Helped Programs Swiftly Respond to Survivors’ Needs

Domestic violence advocates are no strangers to supporting the urgent and ever-changing needs of the survivors they serve. Twenty-seven grantees (34 percent) used funding to meet other needs, including healthcare costs, interpretation services, lawyer fees, a down payment on a rental for emergency housing, and more.

These stories demonstrate the incredible resilience of culturally specific domestic violence organizations and the survivors they serve every day. The Allstate Foundation and NNEDV are truly honored to support the life-saving work of these programs.

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