Organizers of the PHL COVID-19 Fund will re-open the window for new grant applications for three days, starting Wednesday.

The fund, a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Foundation, and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, has awarded more than $15 million since March to Philly-area nonprofits to help them through the pandemic.

Nonprofits with specific needs pertaining to their transitions to recovery — including past grantees and nonprofits whose previous applications were denied — can apply for a PHL COVID-19 Fund Community Reopening Grant beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday at phlcovid19fund.org. The application period will close at 5 p.m. Friday.

“The PHL COVID-19 Fund has helped nonprofits persevere through an unprecedented 12 weeks,” said Pedro A. Ramos, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation, in a statement. “There is another unprecedented challenge ahead of us as the region attempts to reopen safely and find its new normal. We cannot forget how essential the nonprofits and their services remain as we transition to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The fund has awarded $15.3 million in grants to 468 nonprofits. There is about $2 million remaining in the fund, with the next set of grants expected to be announced by June 30.

Esperanza Health Center, which has three locations in Philadelphia, is among the previous grant recipients, getting $100,000 from the fund.

Several the Esperanza Health Center staff members and volunteers at their Kensington testing site.
Esperanza Health Center
Several the Esperanza Health Center staff members and volunteers at their Kensington testing site.

“We’re committed to being here — for our patients and for our North Philadelphia community — and we want to provide the best care and support possible, as long as the pandemic continues,” said Susan Post, executive director of Esperanza Health Center, in an email. “This PHL COVID-19 Fund grant has helped us to do just that, by providing the flexibility to respond quickly to address many needs. Funding has enabled us to establish safe isolation testing [and] evaluation areas for our patients, and purchase test kits and protective masks and gowns for our clinical staff.

"We also want to make sure that our community has access to testing, so we’ve started a new free community testing site in Kensington in partnership with another nonprofit, Rock Ministries of Philadelphia, and a drive-up testing site at our Hunting Park location.”

Post said the grant has been a big help in addressing food insecurity.

“Many seniors and vulnerable individuals struggle with food insecurity, which has only worsened during this crisis," she said. "The grant supports our community food distribution initiative, bringing groceries and making a personal visit with the seniors in our community who find it difficult to make trips to grocery stores. They need another person to check in with them, to see that they are okay as they isolate during these challenging times.”

The Inquirer is owned by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, which operated under the auspices of Philadelphia Foundation. To contribute to the fund, visit phlcovid19fund.org. For questions about the grant-application process, email covid-19@philafound.org.