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Santa Maria Supports Families in Crisis

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Funded by Greater Cincinnati Foundation & United Way of Greater Cincinnati's COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.

Santa Maria Community Services (SMCS) serves the Greater Price Hill community by advocating for families through educational, financial and health services to move on a path out of poverty.

When COVID-19 hit, the pandemic forced SMCS to urgently shift to helping them survive a very difficult economic crisis. Staff and volunteers began thinking differently about how they meet families where they are to provide basic needs such as reliable shelter and adequate food. Home visitors, who normally provide educational guidance and support to families, began delivering food, grocery gift cards and other essential items to client’s homes.

The team at SMCS knows that technology is a barrier for many families they serve and not everyone is up to date with the latest coronavirus news and restrictions. They’ve begun texting and calling clients daily to share knowledge and available resources. They also have moved many of their services, such as Every Child Succeeds, support groups and their GED program, to virtual experiences so that clients don’t fall behind.

SMCS received two grants from the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund activated by United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) and Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF). The $15,000 grant is being split between programs that will be used for relief efforts among immigrants and the $25,000 grant is for emergency relief support.

“Thanks to this funding and generous support, we are able to provide immediate relief,” said Susan Conrad, SMCS Program Director. “It feels good to know that Santa Maria is trusted to ensure that funds will be used equitably and without the hassle of complex reporting. Because of this, our staff feels empowered to focus on the needs of our community right away.”

Examples like the Santa Maria program show that our community is stronger because of you. Thank you for your support during this challenging time.

Please Note: Photos were taken before the coronavirus pandemic and do not reflect the organization’s COVID-19 social distancing protocols.

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