Charlotte Pride launches COVID-19 Relief Program for LGBTQ residents in Mecklenburg County

Program will provide 150 or more small grants of $100 emergency financial assistance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJULY 14, 2020
Media Contact: Matt Comer, matt@charlottepride.org

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Pride, the leader in LGBTQ visibility in Charlotte and the Carolinas, announced today the launch of its new Charlotte Pride COVID-19 Relief Program. The new program aims to provide 150 or more small grants of $100 in direct, emergency financial assistance to LGBTQ residents in Mecklenburg County who have experienced unemployment or underemployment due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

The new program is one of the only local, community-wide COVID-19 response programs specifically designed to exclusively support LGBTQ community members, who are disproportionately represented among the service and hospitality industry, the gig economy, and hourly, minimum-wage jobs — some of the hardest-hit professions during the pandemic. The program will directly grant $100 to individuals who have lost a full or part time job or have had a reduction in hours greater than 5 hours per week.

“At the heart of our organization’s mission is our community. Without the beautiful and diverse community that supports our work, attends the annual festival and parade, and makes life in Charlotte more enriching and vibrant, our organization would not exist,” said Daniel Valdez (he/him), president of the Charlotte Pride board of directors. “In this important time of need, we knew it was our responsibility to give back and support our local LGBTQ community — with a focus on the people who have been hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic and its economic repercussions.”

Jerry Yelton (he/they), Charlotte Pride’s programs and development director, shepherded the new relief program from conception to execution.

“Our relief program is intended to act as a bridge to help our community handle lapses in funding and support as they navigate the COVID-19 crisis,” said Yelton. “Year over year, our audiences have grown, and folks expect Charlotte Pride to help them celebrate and give them a source of strength to navigate the rest of their year.”

Two application periods will open from July 20-July 26 and August 3-9. In each application period, applications will be reviewed within two days and payments will be made immediately upon approval. These small grants are intended to be used for emergency financial assistance and funds may be used for any variety of needs, including rent/housing, utilities, food/groceries, transportation, medical/health needs, or any other personal need of the applicant. Eligibility details are available at charlottepride.org/covidrelief. Applications will open at that website on July 20, 10 a.m., and then again on Aug. 3, 10 a.m.

The program is supported in part by the United Way of Central Carolinas’ and Foundation For The Carolinas’ COVID-19 Response Fund, which provided a grant of $10,000 to supplement Charlotte Pride’s $5,000 commitment. Community members, businesses, and other nonprofit community groups are encouraged to contribute to the Charlotte Pride COVID-19 Relief Program in order to increase the number of small grants the organization can provide to those in need. Donations can be made at charlottepride.org/donate.

The Charlotte Pride COVID-19 Relief Program will also be a focus of fundraising efforts during the Charlotte Pride Virtual Festival & Parade, Aug. 1-2. A virtual festival livestream will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1, 1-9 p.m., and a virtual parade livestream will be held on Sunday, Aug. 2, 1-3 p.m. Livestream viewers will be encouraged to donate to the new relief program.

For more information about the Charlotte Pride COVID-19 Relief Program, please visit charlottepride.org/covidrelief.

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ABOUT CHARLOTTE PRIDE
Charlotte Pride is the leader in LGBTQ visibility in Charlotte and the Carolinas. We present and collaborate on programs, projects, and activities, including the annual Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade, Charlotte Latinx Pride, Charlotte Trans Pride, Charlotte Women’s Pride, Charlotte Pride Interfaith Programs, and Reel Out Charlotte, The Queen City’s Annual LGBTQ Film Festival, among others. Since its founding in 2000, Charlotte Pride has expanded its year-round programming and partnerships to better connect community members with its mission, vision, and values. It is now one of the largest LGBTQ Pride organizations in the American Southeast.