Philly dedicates $6.4M to assist nonprofits on the frontlines of coronavirus pandemic

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UPDATED: March 20, 3 p.m. 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The City of Philadelphia has created a collaborative fund to assist nonprofits that are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The city, along with the Philadelphia Foundation and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, said the PHL COVID-19 Fund will provide grants to area nonprofits that serve at-risk populations, including seniors, people with disabilities, and those who are experiencing homelessness or are economically disadvantaged.

The PHL COVID-19 Fund already has $6.4 million — $3 million of which was gifted by the William Penn Foundation.

The grants allow certain nonprofits to continue to provide services during the coronavirus pandemic and respond to the immediate needs of the community, like food insecurity, child care or health care.

“The pandemic is placing extraordinary stress on our city and region,” said Mayor Jim Kenney, “particularly on already strained community organizations that help our most vulnerable residents, and we must work urgently to provide them with greater financial support.”

“This fund is essential to getting resources in good and expert hands who have the power to help,” added Pedro Ramos, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation. “It is emblematic of the collective will required to overcome the short- and long-term impact of COVID-19.”

All proceeds donated to the fund go directly to the city’s cause. Nonprofits can apply for funding online. And people can volunteer to help with the COVID-19 response.

Coronavirus in Philadelphia

On Thursday, Health Commissioner Dr. Tom Farley said there are now a total of 44 cases of COVID-19 in the city.

He hopes to open a drive-thru testing site outside Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia on Friday, but he could not guarantee it. If and when it does open, he said health care workers will be prioritized and tested first, followed by adults 50 and older who show symptoms. 

Of the 44 cases in the city, 10 of them are health care workers. In all, eight people have been hospitalized.


Correction: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect number of health care workers who've been infected.