Community Resilience Supported by the OneMPLS Fund
COVID-19 continues to shed light on inequities that often hide in the shadows.
Gig workers, low-income families, and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color owned businesses have all been impacted by the pandemic and financial disruption. During these tough times, nonprofits remained on the front lines to take care of our communities.
Since its inception in 2018, the OneMPLS Fund has recognized the need to be flexible and responsive to community needs. To date, we’ve issued six rounds of funding and awarded $4.5 million to roughly 170 nonprofits. With the support of our OneMPLS donors, the Fund deployed resources quickly last year to support community needs during some of the most challenging times in modern history.
As 2021 unfolds, it will continue to bring challenges and apprehension. We also have witnessed incredible resiliency which brings hope for a stronger future for us all. Today we’re sharing a short video and two stories from nonprofits partners. We stand with community and will continue to listen deeply. We invite you to stay connected and look for OneMPLS grant opportunities this spring.
Friends of Global Market. Nomin Angarag from the Friends of Global Market and two business owners, Ahmed Muhumud and Trung Pham, shared their experiences during the pandemic and unrest following the killing of George Floyd in the video above. Friends received a $100,000 OneMPLS grant to relocate damaged and displaced Black, Indigenous, and People of Color businesses to the market and assist existing Global Market businesses.
Exodus Financial Services. Exodus Financial Services helps financially vulnerable Minnesotans find an alternative to predatory payday loans. Exodus pays off high-interest payday loans up to $1,500 and offers a zero-interest 12-month refinance program.
Exodus Financial Services leveraged its $10,000 grant from the OneMPLS Fund and other support to restructure its services to operate remotely with minimal in-person interaction. Exodus supported nearly 200 people by enrolling new members in its loan payoff services and offering more resources to existing clients. Payday loans prey on vulnerable communities as families grapple with lost income. Exodus combats these practices by helping low-income Minnesotans find an alternative path toward financial freedom.
Restaurant Opportunities Center of Minnesota – Twin Cities Hospitality and Event Workers’ Relief Fund. Restaurant and hospitality workers have been some of the most affected by job loss resulting from the pandemic. Many workers in these industries already struggled and lived at or near the federal poverty line before the pandemic. Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Minnesota (ROC MN) works to engage restaurant workers from all backgrounds around shared goals for raising the standard of living for all working-class people.
ROC MN launched the Twin Cities Hospitality and Event Workers’ Relief Fund with Working Partnerships and other local unions and organizing partners to respond to the pandemic and related lost work due to illness, closures, and furloughs. ROC MN used its $20,000 OneMPLS Fund grant and other contributions to target the hardest-hit workers and supported 1,200 people in less than a year. Eligible workers received $200 mini-grants, and ROC MN assisted workers with navigating challenges related to securing unemployment insurance, food, housing, healthcare, workplace safety, and workers’ rights.
ROC MN Lead Organizer Eli Stein and Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation Campaign Manager Casey Hudek urge everyone to remember the pandemic and financial crisis may be declared over in the coming months, but low-wage workers will feel the impact for a long time.
Every dollar contributed to the OneMPLS Fund supports organizations that are providing critical services. Want to pitch in? Here are two easy ways to give:
- If you have a Donor Advised Fund at the Minneapolis Foundation, log in to DonorView and click on the “Inter-Account Grant” button on the Fund Information page.
- Make a tax-deductible credit card donation.
Written and video content was produced by Yariset Rodriguez of the Minneapolis Foundation and YouthLens 360. Special thanks to Restaurant Opportunities Center of Minnesota for providing photos.