Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) Provides Emergency Cash Assistance to Native Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread rapidly across the U.S., American Indian and Alaskan Native communities are especially vulnerable.
In May, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) launched the first ever national Native-led emergency cash assistance program for Native families. Through this program, supported by a $400,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, ONAC is providing 550 emergency cash assistance grants ($500 per household) and is currently working to raise additional funds to support even more families.
“The pandemic is taking a disproportionate toll on the health and economy of tribal communities and we know many Native American/Alaska Native’s are feeling uncertain about how they are going to pay rent, buy food, or keep up with monthly bills,” said Darlene Goins, head of financial health philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “We applaud ONAC for quickly stepping up to the challenge of getting direct cash assistance into the hands of these families to help them weather the storm.”
The first round of emergency cash assistant grants, which do not need to be re-paid, went out to 120 Native families starting on June 5, 2020, and ONAC is currently working with pre-determined tribal and other Native-led nonprofit partners to identify others in need. Applicants are sent non-transferable links to the application. Program participants also receive wrap-around services, such as free financial coaching.
The grant funds have allowed ONAC, and its Native partners, to quickly launch emergency cash assistance support and services directly to Native families that are not otherwise being offered. To help ONAC directly serve more Native families, please consider making a donation at https://give.classy.org/COVIDONAC.