Mayor Fischer announces One Louisville: COVID-19 Response grants for 15 more local non-profit groups

April 6, 2020

Mayor Greg Fischer today expressed gratitude to the many donors who have given more than $8 million to the One Louisville: COVID-19 Respond fund in less than a month since it was launched.

“I want to thank all the people and organizations that have made the compassionate choice to support the One Louisville: COVID-19 Response fund,” the Mayor said. “As of today, we’ve awarded more than $2 million.”

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Last week, Mayor Fischer announced the first round of local non-profit groups that have received assistance from the fund, and today he listed another 15. The grants are being targeted to organizations that help the city’s most vulnerable residents and are providing critical support during the pandemic.

The organizations announced today are:

  • American Red Cross
  • Backside Learning Center
  • Bates Community Development Corp.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana
  • Change Today Change Tomorrow
  • Coalition for the Homeless
  • ElderServe Inc.
  • Family Health Centers
  • The Healing Place
  • Play Cousins Collective
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville
  • John Center for Homeless Men
  • Up for Women
  • WaterStep
  • Wayside Christian Mission

“Play Cousins Collective is incredibly grateful to receive support from the One Louisville fund,” said Kristen Williams, Executive Director of Play Cousins Collective. “Our community programming that provides children's programming at community events, supportive learning cohorts for families of homeschooled children, and mental health support for families has all been cancelled to help keep our families and community safe. With these cancellations, our families and staff need our support now more than ever. Funds will help Play Cousins Collective support our staff and families during this moment. We will work with staff to move our programming online, provide support to homeschooling families virtually, and create care packages of basic supplies and care items for the community.”

The goal of the One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund is to provide flexible funding resources to help community-based organizations and individuals who are disproportionately impacted by the virus and its economic consequences. To contribute to the fund, go here.

“These organizations do outstanding work supporting some of our most vulnerable community members,” the Mayor said. “They have been great partners to our city for a long time.”

One Louisville: COVID-19 Response is also helping households that need money to cover basic needs like food, transportation, access to education and more. Thus far, 3,000 households have set up appointments through May to apply for funds. Louisvillians should call their local Neighborhood Place to begin the application process for One Louisville funds, or they can schedule an appointment by going to: www.louisvillekynphelp.itfrontdesk.com.

City adding new COVID-19 data points to briefings

Responding to a request from the local media for more data points to gauge the impact of COVID-19, Mayor Fischer today began including statistics on the Louisville first responders who have been affected directly by the virus.

“We’re going to be including this data every day to give the community even more information about how this virus is affecting the people who are on the frontlines in this battle,” the Mayor said.

As of Monday, April 6, there are 44 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Emergency Management Agency, Jefferson County Coroner, and Metro Corrections who are off-duty due to COVID-19:

  • 4 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
  • 22 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone with a positive test.
  • 18 are “screened off” with symptoms and have been tested (or due to be tested) but have not received test results.

The Mayor also provided data on inmates at Metro Corrections:

  • 29 inmates have been tested.
  • 26 negative tests.
  • 3 tests are pending.
  • 4 inmates are in isolation due to possible COVID-19 exposure.
  • Mayor proposes shifting funds from Louisville CARES

Mayor Fischer also said today that his administration is working with Louisville Metro Council to shift $500,000 currently budgeted for the Louisville CARES (Creating Affordable Residences for Economic Success) program and instead put those dollars into One Louisville: COVID-19 Response and make them available for individuals who need immediate assistance with housing.

Louisville CARES is normally a loan program, but the Mayor has proposed this strategic funding shift to help provide housing stability for families and individuals earning 50 percent or less of the area median income, or $38,200 a year or less for a family of four.

“By making this donation to the One Louisville fund, the CARES program would be continuing its mission to keep families and individuals securely housed,” Mayor Fischer said. “Because even though evictions have been temporarily suspended, rent is still due and the economic impact of COVID-19 is creating financial hardships that we have to find ways as a community to address.”

The Mayor urged Metro Council to approve the plan and expressed optimism that more help for the people of our city will be available soon.

Mayor announces launch of Louisville Arts Network (LAN)

Mayor Fischer and Louisville Orchestra Director Teddy Abrams today announced the Louisville Arts Network (LAN), a new component of the city’s Lift Up Lou initiative bringing together the creative, philanthropic, and public sector communities in an effort to help mend and inspire the city.

LAN is seeking proposals from local artists and will grant micro-commissions for pre-approved projects that are new, original works. Projects will also be provided with a digital platform – Lift Up Lou – to display the work along with a small honorarium given to the artists. Representatives from 10 arts organizations have joined to assist with the selection of artists to receive these micro-commissions, which are supported in part through donations from Owsley Brown III and Christina Lee Brown.

“We've been saying throughout this crisis that something good can always come out of something bad,” Mayor Fischer said. “I'm looking forward to seeing local artists take advantage of the platforms on Lift Up Lou. The arts are critical to healing our minds, and they will be essential to getting us back to normal once COVID-19 departs our community. I'd like to thank all the partners for making this project a reality.”

Louisville artists are asked to submit their ideas online, at LouisvilleArtsNetwork.org, for a project that can be completed in three days. Once approved, those works will be displayed for the world to see on Lift Up Lou, expanding its live and original digital and video content during a daily arts and entertainment component. The projects will be highlighted at 3 p.m. on social media, @LIftUpLou. Artists looking to share their work -- which could include a song, a painting, a poem, interpretive dance, a sculpture or so much more -- will be compensated through the LAN.

The only requirements for artists submitting work to the LAN  are that they be 18 or older and a current Louisville resident in order to be compensated. Kentucky Performing Arts will assist in dispersing honorariums to the artists -- $150 for approved content or $200 for approved content including a live performance/presentation by the artist on Lift Up Lou. LAN and Lift Up Lou will be working together to display the work as fast as possible to ensure our community is continually inspired by the creativity of Louisville’s artists.

“This is the time to activate the creative power of our community,” said Teddy Abrams, Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and a co-founder of Lift Up Lou. “The strength of our culture will help us weather the challenges of today, and it will be a critical part of rebuilding when that time comes. The Louisville Arts Network provides a platform for our city to share the creativity and talent that we are so fortunate to have in our town. This concept of new art created for us each day will hopefully become a focal point of how we maintain our sense of connection and unity in Louisville, and I hope it will serve as a model for how a town can embrace art and artists as a way of healing and inspiring us all."

“Artists and their poetic offerings deliver the essential messages of any era and it is these offerings that have so often endured over time,” said Owsley Brown III. “The hope for the Louisville Arts Network is that it can be a dynamic vehicle for artistic voices and for those they inform. By doing so, LAN aspires to meet the needs of our community and the needs of our times in service of the greater good.”

Three weeks ago, Lift Up Lou was created to help lift spirits and provide a regular stream of live content throughout the day during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The addition of LAN will not only add to that content but also support the city’s creative minds. For more information, visit LiftUpLou.com and LouisvilleArtsNetwork.org. If you would like to contribute to LAN to help commission more works, you can do so at LouisvilleArtsNetwork.org.

The latest CDC guidance on wearing a mask

The Centers for Disease Control is now recommending that people wear cloth masks when going out of the house for necessities like food and medicine.

Dr. Sarah Moyer, Louisville Metro Government’s chief health strategist, warned that a cloth mask does not guarantee protection against COVID-19 and stressed that social distancing is still the best way to prevent the virus from spreading.

“Cloth masks do not have the proper design or necessary materials to filter out virus particles and therefore do not ensure you will not become infected by COVID-19,” Dr. Moyer said. “Wearing a cloth face mask may, however, reduce the risk of someone infected with COVID-19 unknowingly spreading the infection during the period of time after they have become infected but before they have developed symptoms, possibly two or more days.”

Dr. Moyer also asked Louisvillians not to seek out N95 masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.  

“Wearing a mask of any sort does not replace social distancing,” Dr. Moyer said. “These scarce resources must be saved for our healthcare workers and first responders.”

For more guidance on the use of cloth face coverings, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

Red Cross blood drive on Wednesday and Thursday

Mayor Fischer again reminded the community about the need to donate blood. Although local blood supplies are holding steady, there is still a constant need.

“During this uncertain time, we encourage individuals to keep scheduled blood donation appointments and to make new blood donation appointments for the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic,” the Mayor said.

The American Red Cross is conducting a blood drive on Wednesday and Thursday at the KFC Yum! Center downtown, and there are still some slots available. You must make an appointment first; go to www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor the keyword KFCYUM.

No walk-ins will be allowed. 

Online town hall on Tuesday

Mayor Fischer will host an online town hall on Tuesday morning with Dr. Jon Klein, vice dean for research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine; and Dr. Monalisa Tailor, an internal medicine physician at Norton Community Medical Associates.

Go to Facebook.com/MayorGregFischer at 10 a.m. on Tuesday to participate.