The COVID pandemic and the consequent recession have caused a great deal of suffering, and also have highlighted and aggravated underlying socio-economic and racial inequities. ORUCC has responded to the immediate needs of our neighbors while also supporting work for justice and system change to overcome inequities.
To respond to the pandemic, we increased our anti-poverty and justice work by:
- Raising over $25,000 in donations for a new special Emergency Housing fund, which social workers in our southwest neighborhood are using to supplement other funds to fill gaps government programs cannot. A priority is help for immigrants who are not eligible for many government programs and other families with young children.
- Committing substantial funds and some volunteer time to help neighbors with essential needs such as food, transportation, and personal and household essential items. Woodman’s gift cards, meal packs, and essential household items are being distributed through partnerships with trusted community organizations and some church volunteer help.
- Offering our church building and parking lot to host a neighborhood COVID testing site, partnering with Public Health and grass roots neighborhood organizations.
- Joining in advocacy and providing financial support for the work of, among others, Nehemiah/Justified Anger, the Dane Sanctuary Coalition, the Community Integration Law Center, Faith Voices for Justice, the Wisconsin Council of Churches and its Voter Engagement Campaign, the Mellowhood Foundation in our neighborhood, and the LatinX Consortium COVID response fund. We also offered our members a wide-range of educational programs and reflection opportunities that will support individuals in advocating policy changes at local, county, state and national levels.
For more information contact Helene Nelson