PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Community Response Committee
The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Community Response Committee supports an aligned philanthropic response to COVID-19 in Pierce County.
As the public health response to COVID-19 in Pierce County escalated Friday, March 13, United Way of Pierce County and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation partnered for an aligned philanthropic response to emerging community needs.
To support shared learning and aligned response efforts across community sectors, including funding partners to the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED fund, nonprofits, municipal agencies, and community donors and volunteers, a Community Response Committee was established to provide real-time, on-the-ground information from providers about impacts and needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Community Response Committee is informed by the structure and protocols of an Incident Command Structure (ICS). ICS is used across the country by fire, FEMA, and other governmental organizations to streamline resources and communication during emergencies.
The goal of the Community Response Committee is to ensure real-time, on-the-ground information is surfaced in a way that supports aligned philanthropic response by funders, donors, nonprofits, and community-serving agencies with a minimum of burden placed on nonprofits actively providing services.
The Community Response Committee is organized by priority operational areas – called pods. The first set of pods are based on immediate needs surfacing at the system level since March 13: Food, Housing, and First Responder Childcare.
As the community impacts of COVID-19 and the necessary public health measures to slow the pandemic evolve, the Community Response Committee may scale up to survey and inform other communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 like: Mental Health, Individuals with Physical Disability, Elderly, Immigrants, and others.
The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Community Response Committee will:
- Work in the best interest of the Pierce County community and its residents.
- Facilitate sector collaboration and communication.
- Provide a central point of verified information and communication for the sector.
- Staff the philanthropy liaison position inside the Emergency Operations Centers to represent the sector with daily updates and information received from the pod leads.
- Provide Pierce County-specific guidance from pods to funders to help them make informed COVID-19 response funding decisions.
- Help advocate with government entities for resources and policy decisions as needed.
The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Community Response will not:
- Extend its scope beyond the immediate COVID-19 public health crisis.
- Take ownership or responsibility of the service provision.
Pod leads, as shown into the organizational chart, will be reaching out to organizations within those sectors to arrange ways to get regular updates to inform the reports. The goal is for these check-ins to take a minimum of time for participants, in respect the tremendous amount of work organizations are already doing to support the community during COVID-19.