United Way Funding Allows CommonBond Housing Communities to be “Nimble, Responsive”

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For nearly five decades, CommonBond Communities has worked with its residents to create community through affordable housing and support services. The nonprofit is driven by the belief that a home is the foundation for everything in life.

In the Twin Cities metro area, CommonBond has 94 housing communities that serve nearly 9,000 residents. Of these residents, at least 60% are people of color.

Recently, CommonBond applied for and received an emergency third round grant from the Greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to deliver services in new and creative ways, expand current services, and serve vulnerable populations. This third wave of grants, totaling $700,000, was distributed to 52 local nonprofits, including 21 organizations not currently funded by United Way like CommonBond.

When COVID-19 hit, many in our community lost their jobs or had hours—and therefore income—reduced. Combined with school meal program closures, these factors have forced many of our neighbors to make difficult choices between feeding their families, keeping a roof over their heads, and finding childcare.

“For community members already living on the edge, COVID-related loss of income is catastrophic,” said Deidre Schmidt, President and CEO of CommonBond Communities. “Funding from Greater Twin Cities United Way is allowing us to be nimble and responsive in supporting residents’ evolving needs.”

CommonBond is using the emergency grant from the Greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to serve their housing communities through increased supportive services, having properties cleaned even more frequently, and keeping staff employed. These staff are critical to delivering the support residents need during the pandemic.

“This is an intense time,” said Alicia Cordes-Mayo, Communications Director at CommonBond Communities. “As human beings, we all need a place to live. And CommonBond’s mission is to keep people stably, safely, and supportively housed. During a pandemic, that involves people needing to be in their homes for safety so it’s more important than ever.”

CommonBond residents have been appreciative of the expanded support services—telling staff they are relieved to know they are not alone during this pandemic.

“This is a time when people are really leaning on their communities,” said Chelsea Dolan, Marketing and Design Manager at CommonBond. “Our housing communities are people’s homes—a respite amid some of the other challenges they are facing. For residents, knowing they can come home to their own space feels especially important right now.”

Take Action: To help, donate to the Greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund at gtcuw.org/covid19 or by texting GTCUWCOVID19 to 51555.

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