Press release provided by United Way

United Way of West Florida (UWWF) has distributed its first phase of COVID-19 Response Funding to nonprofit agencies providing direct support to impacted individuals and families in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
The COVID-19 Response Fund will target assistance to ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households that have been economically impacted by the pandemic with expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, childcare, and other household expenses.
“The ALICE population has been significantly affected by this pandemic,” said President and CEO, Laura Gilliam. “These are hardworking individuals, but one missed paycheck can lead to financial crisis, which is where many of them are now.”
Phase One is disbursing roughly 70% of the fund for immediate, basic needs via an expedited grant process to current UWWF Certified Partner Agencies. Remaining and additional funding will be distributed at a later date and will focus on community priorities. To facilitate the distribution process and approve Phase One grants, United Way of West Florida convened a COVID-19 Response Fund Committee comprised of board members and community volunteers.
The following organizations are receiving Phase One disbursements totaling $246,266. As United Way of West Florida Certified Partner Agencies, these organizations are annually vetted to ensure their financial health, governance, and nonprofit best practices.


  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida
  • Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida
  • Covenant Hospice
  • Epilepsy Florida
  • Community Health Northwest Florida
  • Feeding the Gulf Coast
  • Gulf Coast Kids’ House
  • Health and Hope Clinic
  • Manna Food Pantries
  • Outreach Navarre
  • Re-Entry Alliance Pensacola
  • The Salvation Army
  • South Santa Rosa Interfaith Ministries
  • United Ministries
Agencies will not give money directly to individuals but will work with local vendors like landlords or utility companies, and food will be distributed by agencies. Recipients of COVID-19 funds through this grant process will be required to submit bi-weekly reports regarding disbursement of their funds.
Big Brothers Big Sisters, BRACE, Covenant Hospice, Epilepsy Florida, Gulf Coast Kids’ House, and Re-Entry Alliance Pensacola will assist their own clients. For information on how to access assistance, please dial 211.
UWWF’s COVID-19 Fund has received corporate contributions from the Gulf Power Foundation, Florida Blue, Beach Community Bank, and Navy Federal Credit Union. An additional 66 individual donations total nearly $11,000.
“The outpouring of support from our community has been inspiring,” said UWWF Board Chair, Jack Lowrey. “We’ve had significant corporate contributions, individual gifts, and some folks have donated their Economic Impact Payments to us,” he added. “No matter the size, they all make a difference in our ability to respond to this unprecedented time as a community.”
To make a donation to United Way of West Florida’s COVID-19 Response Fund, text 850Respond to 41444  or visit www.uwwf.org/covid19fund. Businesses considering a corporate contribution are encouraged to contact Director of Development, Bart Hudson, at [email protected].
Individuals in need of information about available resources or services are encouraged to contact 211 Northwest Florida, powered locally by United Way of West Florida. Simply dial 211 or visit www.211nwfl.org to speak with a trained Information and Referral Specialist. The program is completely free, confidential, and available 24/7.