The members of One Voice Central Texas appreciate all the work the Austin City Council, the Austin City Manager, and the Travis County Commissioners are undertaking to ensure our community is safe as we face COVID 19. As we address this crisis, we would like to encourage the City of Austin and the County of Travis to do the following:
- Engage with nonprofits as emergency responders. Our members are on the frontlines of working with the community’s most vulnerable populations. We are the most trusted resource of information for many of these individuals and providing critical services. Please include us in community conversations about strategies/plans and keep us updated with the most current information.
- Follow the lead of St. David’s Foundation, United Way for Greater Austin, and other funders and ensure that if nonprofits are unable to meet grant deliverables (numbers of patients/clients served, hosting large in-person gatherings, etc.), this will not affect existing or future funding agreements. The current circumstances are going to cause many nonprofits to have to close or minimize the number of clients that they serve in order to ensure community safety.
- Support nonprofits in being able to source and purchase items such as hand sanitizer, wipes, disposable gloves, temperature strips etc. Our members are often dealing with individuals who are most at -risk and for everyone’s safety we need access to these supplies. Many of our partner organizations are having great difficulty accessing these vital items.
- Provide additional financial support for the social service contracts. Many of our members rely on volunteers for critical services but are finding that the volunteers are not available, some members operate 24 hour facilities and have no choice but to stay open, many members had fundraisers set for this Spring that are now being postponed or canceled. All are dealing with the additional stress and challenges that this pandemic brings.
One Voice Central Texas is a coalition of the executive leadership of almost 100 nonprofit health and human service organizations committed to making sure that everyone can reach their full potential and contribute to our community. We represent the community’s integrated network of human services that connects every one of all ages and circumstance to the social resources, opportunities, and supports they need to thrive. We are already working with Austin Public Health on a webinar and look forward to working further with the City to ensure that we all support a well and healthy city.