EBCE Awards $220,000 in Grants to Support Local COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Funds will help community-based organizations serving East Bay residents and businesses

Oakland, Calif. (April 30, 2020) – East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) has taken several immediate actions to help our communities during the COVID-19 crisis, including the launch of a grant solicitation for community-based organizations (CBOs) serving EBCE residents and/or businesses. Twenty-two organizations were each awarded grants of $10,000 to address immediate relief efforts related to assistance in energy or utility bills, food security, rent support, and health and wellness.

A complete list of grant recipients from this round of funding appears below.

Maureen Silver, Director of Development and Innovation at Mandela Partners, said, “Mandela Partners recognized early on in this pandemic that food-insecure residents and our small business community would be hardest hit, especially in under-resourced neighborhoods of Alameda County. This generous support from East Bay Community Energy allows us to immediately respond through our free produce and meal distribution service, and uplift the economic vitality of the family farmers we work with by sourcing produce directly from them.”

In addition to addressing food insecurity, EBCE also awarded local organizations prioritizing the accessibility of health services. “Tri-City Health Center continues to be at the forefront in helping address COVID-19 in southern Alameda County. With support from East Bay Community Energy, we will be able to provide emergency rental assistance and financial support for basic needs for patients who are low-income, suffering from financial hardship, and are facing potential eviction from a missed rental payment due to the pandemic,” said Marc Gannon, COO of Tri-City Health Center.

Additionally, EBCE is now embarking on an outreach campaign to help spread the word about how low-income customers can get discounted energy bills. EBCE will be offering a webinar and other informational materials on programs that offer assistance to eligible residential customers on their energy bill. The California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE) program offers a monthly discount of 35% on electricity and 20% on natural gas. The Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA) offers a monthly discount of 18% on electricity only. Participants in these programs qualify through income guidelines or if enrolled in certain public assistance programs. Information is available at ebce.org/care.

List of Grant Recipients:

Abode Services: Abode will assist in supporting utility bills for clients who are unable to pay them on time, support and subsidize rent for clients housed by Abode, provide food for food insecure clients, and provide shelter, transportation, and linkage to medical care for clients who are sick and who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Adamika Village: Adamika Village has been leading the charge in organizing the Oakland Frontline Healers, a collection of 20+ Black nonprofits in the flat land communities of Oakland. Adamika Village seeks to provide care packages and referral to services including their own in-house licensed therapist.

Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS): BOSS develops solutions to mass homelessness, mass incarceration, and community violence. Grant funds will be used to serve those experiencing homelessness, people of disabilities, and very low income by keeping stock on cleaning and PPE supplies and providing updates from health depts.

Center for Elders’ Independence: Funds will be used to expand CEI’s Healthy Meals for Frail Seniors program, ensuring that participants eat nutritious food regularly, maintain a healthy weight, avoid additional health problems, and live at home safely and independently.

Cornerstone Community Development Corporation: The mission of Building Futures with Women and Children is to build communities with underserved women and children, where they are safely and supportively housed, free from homelessness and domestic violence. Funds will be used for rent stabilization and wellness efforts.

Covenant House California: In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Covenant House CA is working hard to maintain and increase the level of service they provide to youth experiencing homelessness. Funds will be used to expand medical facilities in their shelters and increase access to programs such as the Rapid Rehousing program.

Daily Bowl: Daily Bowl rescues excess edible blemished fresh and prepared food from farmers’ markets, restaurant distributors, farms, co-ops, ethnic grocery stores, institutional kitchens, hospitals, restaurants, and catering companies. They distribute this resource to various non-profit agencies across Southern and Central Alameda County to feed the people who are hungry and vulnerable.

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC): EBALDC provides affordable housing options and robust social and financial consulting services. SparkPoint Oakland provides financial and workforce services with a set of partners for low to moderate-income (LMI) Oakland residents, such as transitioning resident finances online.

East Oakland Grocery Coop: In response to our community’s dire need for food resources, the East Oakland Grocery Cooperative (EOGC) and partners will come together to increase weekly food and resource distribution services in Oakland, via delivery and pick-up.

Eden Housing: Eden Housing works to maintain affordable housing communities for lower-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. They have created an emergency “Tenant Relief Fund” to offset the cost of rent and expanded services for our most at-risk low-income residents.

Eden I&R: Eden I&R’s largest program, 211 Alameda County, is a free, three-digit phone number that connects callers with a live Phone Resource Specialist 24/7 for health, housing, and human services information. Funds will be used to expand their services to best serve Alameda County.

First Presbyterian Church of Hayward: First Presbyterian Church of Hayward supports nearly 2,000 people in the Hayward-Castro Valley (Eden) area. Funds will be used to meet urgent medical needs among the houseless community and increase health and safety precautions for their overnight shelters, especially amidst this pandemic.

Fremont Family Resource Center Corporation: Fremont Family Resource Center provides quality services for the Fremont community such as tax preparation, mental health services, child care support, and homeless service assistance. Funds will be allocated to support families with their energy/ utility bills and meal programs.
Healthy Black Families, Inc.: Founded in Berkeley in 2013, Healthy Black Families, Inc. (HBF) is one of few Black women-led organizations dedicated to providing culturally relevant peer support to African American women and their families. Funds will be used to cover rent, basic needs such as groceries, and health and wellness equipment for households.

Mandela Partners: For 15+ years, Mandela Partners has been leading health and wealth building initiatives to ensure that under-resourced regional farmers gain access to markets, low-income low-access residents gain access to healthy food, workers have dignified jobs opportunities, and local entrepreneurs have access to the resources and support needed to build intergenerational wealth. Funds will be used to provide free produce boxes and meal kits at relief partners sites.

NorCal Resilience Network: NorCal Resilience Network is leveraging their existing coalition of organizations and Resilience Hubs program to address critical food security needs that can scale up and replicate in a number of communities through their new program: Produce for the People. Funds will be used for expanding their garden efforts, food distribution and supplies, and scaling up.
Pacific Center for Human Growth: Pacific Center is a respected, grass-roots non-profit organization that has been serving LGBTQ youth, adults, and seniors in Alameda County, as well as the surrounding counties. Funds will go towards the cost associated with running their programs and services virtually, including therapy sessions and peer support groups.

Street Level Health Project: Street Level Health Project has been responsive to the needs of day laborers, low-to-no income uninsured, under-insured, and recently arrived immigrants. Funds will be used to support their food distribution programs, mental health consultations, and other existing services such as their hotline number providing advice on food assistance and translation support for Mam speakers.

Sunflower Hill: Sunflower Hill is dedicated to building independent residential communities for adults with developmental disabilities. Funds will go to maintaining the Sunflower Hill Garden for the purpose of harvesting and donating produce. Additionally, staff will work collaboratively to develop creative virtual options to keep their program participants engaged and connected.
The Davis Street Community Center: Davis Street is a multi-service organization, supporting children, families, seniors, and individuals in need throughout San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, Ashland, and the Eden Area. Funds will be used to purchase food, cleaning supplies, and protective equipment for their food bank.

Tri-City Health Center (TCHC): TCHC supports patients in need of emergency rental assistance suffering from financial hardship or potential eviction. Funds will also support patients most at-risk, enrolled in the HIV Care Program that provides comprehensive HIV services, case management, medication support, early intervention services, access to behavioral health care, and assistance with housing, food, and other basic needs.

Tri-Valley Haven for Women (TVH): Tri-Valley Haven’s mission is to create homes free from abuse and poverty and ensuring vital services are accessible during the COVID-19 outbreak. Funds will be used to provide groceries for families and individuals in economic need as well as providing financial support for the TVH staff overseeing the largest food pantry in the Tri-Valley.

For more information on EBCE’s COVID-19 relief efforts, please visit https://ebce.org/covid.


About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and will expand to the cities of Pleasanton, Newark, and Tracy in 2021. As one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, EBCE is part of the movement to expedite the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit ebce.org.

Dan Lieberman