Gender Based Violence Resources

COVID-19 Gender Based Violence Resources

This resource list is a starting point for foundations interested in expanding their learning around those most impacted by COVID. There are many local and national resources available, as well as culturally specific information and responses. This list was compiled by the Weissberg Foundation.

General Resources

Safety Planning

Digital Safety and Security

  • National Network to End Domestic Violence best practices for mobile advocacy
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence using technology to communicate with survivors during a public health crisis

Culturally Responsive and Specific Resources


  • COVID-19 fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC folks
  • National Resource Center on Reaching Victims COVID-19 webinars and listening sessions
  • COVID-19 resource kit, which includes a compilation of resources from disabled, queer, elderly, Asian, and indigenous people and US-based mutual aid projects

Aging, Disability, and Deaf Communities

Immigrants and Undocumented Folks

Indigenous Persons

LGBTQ Community

  • National Center for Trans Equity COVID-19 guide to what trans people need to know


Location-Specific Resources

District of Columbia



This list developed by:

BlackRock Leads Upcounty Distribution Site


Dear Community Partner,  

Thank you for participating in the discussion about the creation of an UpCounty Distribution Hub for Community Needs at BlackRock Center for the Arts (BlackRock). We are grateful for everyone’s work toward meeting the needs of so many people in upper Montgomery County who are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we can create greater access to essential items for individuals, children, families and seniors whose needs are not fully met by the current system in the UpCounty region.  

BlackRock will serve as the distribution hub for donated essential goods such as packaged food, diapers (infant and adult), health care kits, toilet paper, and paper towels. We already received the first donation of food from Nourish Now and The David and Mikel Blair Foundation which will be delivered to families this week. This week only, we are also looking for donations of Easter candy (individually wrapped, nut free) to fill donated baskets that will be given to 300 local children for Saturday’s distribution.  

In order to achieve our vision of serving upper Montgomery County as an essential distribution hub, we are recruiting additional partners to join us, The David and Mikel Blair Family Foundation, Healthcare Initiative Foundation, Latino Health Initiative, and Nourish Now to:

-Consolidate and repackage donated goods for community distribution pick-up in BlackRock’s parking lot:
-Large deliveries to communities such as Clopper Mill Elementary School and
Waters Landing
-Home delivery distributions to vulnerable and/or homebound populations  

Trucks or vans provided by community partners will be used for large deliveries.

Volunteers’ vehicles and ride share services (Lyft, Uber) will be used for smaller deliveries.   BlackRock is centrally located in Germantown Town Center and next to the public library. We have a large parking lot behind our building and there is free on street parking in front of our building. We also have several exterior entrances into spaces that will be used to consolidate, repackage and pick-up donations. The distribution center and scheduling will be managed by BlackRock’s Operations Director who will ensure safe social distancing practices are always in place, as well as oversee the county’s cleaning services, and all other onsite services, as required. Donated items can be dropped off at the BlackRock from Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

We know that many of you offer specific services, such as specializing in case management, volunteer meal delivery, food recovery and distribution, snack packs, and distribution of large donations. If you are able to participate in our partnership, please complete this form. Please indicate on the form any type of tracking you may need, so that we can ensure you have the data that you need for reporting purposes.  

We are in this together and through collaborative partnership, we can meet the needs of the upper Montgomery County community. If you are not able to participate at this time or if you have any questions, please let me know.   Stay healthy and safe,  

Lynn Andreas Arndt
Chief Executive Officer, BlackRock Center for the Arts
12901 Town Commons Drive Germantown, MD 20874

Business Leaders Fighting Hunger Address COVID-19


March 27, 2020


Shondra Jenkins, 240-654-7043,


Grants will support Manna, Identity, Universities at Shady Grove, and Five Additional Nonprofits. Coalitions requests matching dollars from local businesses to feed more people.

Montgomery County, MD – Business Leaders Fighting Hunger, Montgomery County’s private sector coalition committed to ending hunger for the 60,000 food insecure people in the county, today announced emergency support to eight organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants total $50,000, but will likely yield far more dollars due to the dollar-to-dollar match that was requested by Business Leaders.

The primary recipients, including Manna Food Center, Identity, and the Universities at Shady Grove, serve diverse populations across the county. Each assist low-income families and underserved youth under normal circumstances, but report that COVID-19 has created an unforeseen urgency that needs to be addressed.

Additional support is also being provided to five other organizations whose mission is to fight poverty in Montgomery County, MD. They are: Gaithersburg HELP, Meals on Wheels, Nourish Now, Rainbow Community Development Center, and Shepherd’s Table.

“Our low-income neighbors are facing an unprecedented double whammy,” said Andy Burness, co-founder of Business Leaders Fighting Hunger and president of Burness, a public interest communications firm that operates out of Bethesda. “Too many struggle on a daily basis in the best of times. Now, COVID-19 is putting people out of work, with no obvious prospect for better days any time soon. These people need to eat, and we wanted to act now.”

“Business Leaders’ support is a start,” Burness said. “It will make a difference for hundreds of families and children in the county. But, we need corporate leaders to join us, donating to these organizations or to any others that are on the front lines serving people who are really suffering now.”

Business Leaders Fighting Hunger is a group of Montgomery County businesses committed to reducing the number of food insecure residents in the county by making strategic investments in programs that tackle the root causes of hunger. The coalition was co-founded by Sodexo and Burness. Supporting businesses include Atlantic Electric Supply Corp,  Bass Accounting & Tax Services, Belikove and Graves, Bendler & Company, Bethesda Magazine, Clark Construction, David R. and Deborah S. Lambert Charitable Trust, Golden & Cohen, and SmithPilot.

The coalition intends to engage many more businesses. Interested companies or individuals should contact Shondra Jenkins, co-founder and former director of Sodexo’s foundation here in Montgomery County. Her email is, and she can be reached by phone at 240-654-7043. To view a PDF of the press release, click here.


Community Foundation RFP

The Greater Washington Community Foundation has opened an RPF for their COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. To view the RFP or to learn more, click here.

” The Community Foundation, in collaboration with regional partners, has established the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to support emergency preparedness and response efforts that will help mitigate the impact on disproportionately affected communities in our region. Through this fund, we are focused on addressing lost wages, relief for small business and gig economy workers, expanding access to medical services, and meeting the unique needs of people experiencing homelessness, among other needs.”

MCPS Emergency Meal Service Locations – UPDATED

Montgomery County Public Schools has designated 40 locations throughout the County as Emergency Meal Service locations during this extended closure. This service is available Monday – Friday for children up to 18 years old from 11am to 1pm at the designated locations. To view the most up to date information and sites, visit the MCPS COVID Resource page.

On March 23rd, additional schools, mobile locations, and business distribution sites were added. Additionally, Manna Food Center will be providing weekend backpack food sacks distributed throughout the county on Fridays. Click here to view the updated list.

MCPS has a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 updates and information. Click here.

HIF’s ‘Building Equity’ Webinar Series

Healthcare Initiative Foundation, in partnership with our nonprofit partners, will host a four-part webinar series dedicated to Building Equity in our community. View details and registration here.

Topics include:

  • Building Equity in Your Strategic Plan
  • Building Equity through Client-led Conversations
  • Building Equity through Community Voice
  • Building Equity: Making Change and Taking Action

For any questions regarding this series or with registration, you can reach out to

Food Council Publishes Food Literacy Assessment

The Montgomery County Food Council is proud to present their Food Literacy Assessment, which was conducted by their Food Education Working Group (FEdWG) to better understand the landscape of existing food literacy resources in Montgomery County, and to identify gaps in resources and barriers to providing and/or accessing services.

The FEdWG researched educational resources in gardening and agriculture, food safety, nutrition, cooking/shopping for/preparing food, and waste avoidance. The FEdWG’s goal is for this assessment to be used to identify food literacy gaps, better allocate resources, strengthen collaboration and resource sharing among providers, and advocate for an increase in and improvement of food education programs in the County.

The Food Literacy Assessment includes data on the resources offered by more than 100 community stakeholders, including, but not limited to, food assistance providers, hospital wellness representatives, faith-based organizations, garden education providers, culinary and nutrition educators. 

This assessment was made possible by the support of funders like the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the Institute for Public Health Innovation through the Trinity Health Transforming Communities Initiative, the Montgomery County Council and the Office of the County Executive, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, the Mead Family Foundation, and other community supporters.

Healthy Montgomery Launches New Video

Healthy Montgomery Transforming Communities Initiative launches new video that highlights innovative health initiative addressing childhood obesity and tobacco-free living in Montgomery County.

Healthy Montgomery Transforming Communities Initiative brings together stakeholders across public, private, and non-profit sectors to improve school wellness, increase community food access, expand safe routes to schools, and promote tobacco-free living in areas of high need including Gaithersburg, Germantown, Long Branch, and Takoma Park.

Video link available here.

HIF Announces FY19 Small Grant Recipients

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation Awards $75,000 in the FY19 Small Grant Cycle to 17 Nonprofit Organizations, Projected to Impact 4,014 Individuals

Montgomery County, MD – June 27, 2019 – The Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) is honored to be partnering with 17 local nonprofits through our FY19 Small Grant cycle.  These nonprofits exemplify the strategic priorities of our mission through their community-based programming.  Seventeen nonprofits received $75,000 worth of program support with a potential impact of serving 4,014 unduplicated individuals in Montgomery County (MC).  The variety of programs receiving support represent behavioral health services to children and families, healthy food access, integrated health services, trauma-informed training to Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) educators, administrators, and support staff, mental health services to our Veterans, and training and supports to increase workplace cultural competencies in the healthcare field.

HIF’s grants support behavioral health access across the lifespan; access to quality and comprehensive health and wellness services; sustainable business models and integrated service delivery for systemic transformation; and the growth of a highly skilled and culturally competent healthcare workforce.

Behavioral Health Across the Lifespan: $37,500 Granted; An Estimated 706 Individuals to be Impacted

  • Ayuda – $5,000 –Provides increased access to behavioral health services for 24 immigrant victims of crime (domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking) residing in MC. Therapists will utilize Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).
  • Boys Town Washington, DC – $7,500 – Establishes a Behavioral Health Clinic partnership in MC to serve 120 youth through an Integrated Care Model with a Pediatrician and Psychologist. 
  • Caring Matters – $5,000 –Provides social supports and community education so that no one dies or grieves alone. Program will serve 57 Up County individuals that includes education and training to professionals to increase program referrals and expanding service delivery of their Good Grief Club and Adult Peer Support Groups. 2019 Brooks Saltsman Award recipient.
  • Family Services, Inc – $5,000 –Offers 6-week parent trauma training series at Gaithersburg Elementary School on: what is trauma; its effect on children and families; adverse childhood experiences; trauma and the developing brain; strategies for managing stress; self-care and resiliency; positive discipline; and identifying when professional help is needed and how to obtain it. 20 parents and 70 individuals will be impacted by the training.
  • People Animals Love (PAL) – $5,000 – Uses human-animal bond to brighten lives, ease pain, and enrich the world of at-risk children.  Program plans to increase human-animal volunteer teams to 100 so they can provide therapeutic support at local events and participate in group therapy sessions with partners to 300 individuals.
  • Vikara Village – $5,000 –Expands ‘Body Love Yoga’ program to 60 MC middle school girls. The program intents to build a healthy sense of self, community, and belonging through yoga and art among these young women.
  • Warrior Canine Connection – $5,000 –Offers Mission Based Trauma Recovery to 75 MC Veterans at their Boyds location.  Program expands hospital-based behavioral health services to a community setting with intent to reduce pain and stress and improve overall mood. 

Access to Quality and Comprehensive Health and Wellness Services: $24,000 Granted; An Estimated 2,647 Individuals to be Impacted

  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington – Germantown Branch- $5,000 –Provides direct program, Triple Play, to 100 youth to help combat lack of access to health programs. Triple Play strives to improve the overall health of members, ages 6-18, by increasing their daily physical activity, teaching them good nutrition, and helping them develop healthy relationships.
  • Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind – $12,000 — Conducts follow-up eye exams for 95 students at Gaithersburg Elementary School over 5 screening dates. Program will offer eye exams utilizing the fully equipped Mobile Eye Care Van and licensed Optometrist.  At the conclusion of each exam, students in need of glasses will receive them.
  • Shared Horizons – $2,000 –Manages Pooled Special Needs Trusts (PSNT) for people with disabilities. 2 MC residents, through the Charitable Fund, will receive needed medical or dental care up to $1,000. 
  • Women Who Care Ministries – $5,000 –Offers nutritious weekend meals to low-income MCPS students at Up County elementary and middle schools. Program will impact 2,450 students with a goal to increase 30 more Germantown students served per month. 

Sustainable Business Models and Integrated Service Delivery to Stimulate Systemic Transformation in the Health and Wellness Sector: $4,750 Granted; An Estimated 565 Individuals to be Impacted

  • Community Health and Empowerment through Education and Research (CHEER) – $2,500 –Conducts healthy food deliveries to low-income individuals based in Southeast MC.  Program will increase food access to 170 individuals. 
  • Gaithersburg HELP – $1,000 –Offers prescription assistance program to assist a minimum of 20 unduplicated low-income adults and children in the Gaithersburg/Montgomery Village area who are uninsured or under-insured to obtain the prescriptions their doctors have prescribed for them and are required to maintain their health.
  • Germantown HELP – $1,250 –Provides emergency assistance for food delivery to Germantown residents.  375 residents will receive perishable and non-perishable food through this program.    

Grow a Highly Skilled, Culturally Competent Healthcare Workforce: $8,750 Granted; An Estimated 96 Individuals to be Served

  • Generation Hope – $2,500 –Surrounds motivated teen parents and their children with the mentors, emotional support, and financial resources that they need to thrive in college and kindergarten. 19 participants will receive supplies for career-readiness trainings, career advising, and two field trips to MC-based healthcare focused employers.
  • Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy – $5,000 –Offers workplace-based English literacy classes to newly arrived immigrants that will serve high-growth industries such as health care, childcare, and/or the service industry at their job sites so they can improve their English to better serve clients, increase productivity, reduce workplace accidents, and access healthcare services that are available through their employers’ health plans. Program anticipates engaging 75 adult learners.
  • Universidad Ana G. Mendez – Capital Area Campus – $1,250—Develops Hispanic nursing students’ BSN-acquired skills through mentored clinical externships.  Two students participating in Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center externship will receive stipend for transportation, uniforms, and necessary supplies.

HIF supports organizations that offer solutions to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare for residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. Within our geographic and focus area, we consider efforts to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare, expand the availability of comprehensive healthcare, build appropriate capacity in the healthcare network, and grow the healthcare workforce. To learn more, please visit our website at and like us on Facebook at


If you would like more information about this topic or the Healthcare Initiative Foundation’s grant priorities, please contact Jess Fuchs at or 240-499-2827.

CaringMatters Awarded 2019 Brooks Saltsman Award

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation Awards CaringMatters the 2019 Brooks Saltsman Award for their commitment to volunteerism in the health field

Montgomery County, MD – June 26, 2019 – The Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) is honored to announce CaringMatters, formerly Hospice Caring, as the 2019 recipient of the Brooks Saltsman Award for their commitment to volunteerism in the health and wellness field.  With this honor, CaringMatters is awarded $5,000 in her honor.  Brooks Johnstone Saltsman was a former Healthcare Initiative Foundation Trustee who dedicated her life to volunteerism and this award was created to honor her legacy.  “We’re honored to receive this special award in recognition of our dedicated team of CaringMatters volunteers. We applaud the Healthcare Initiative Foundation for their support of our community-based end-of-life and bereavement services,” CaringMatters Executive Director, Allison Stearns.

In 1999, Saltsman was elected as a Board of Trustee for the Healthcare Initiative Foundation.  During her tenure as a HIF Trustee, the Foundation had the privilege of benefiting from Saltsman’s tremendous talent and love of service for Montgomery County residents. CaringMatters is a Montgomery County nonprofit that exemplifies Saltsman’s dedication to her community and volunteerism.  

Founded in Montgomery County in 1989, CaringMatters provides free-of-charge social supports and education to our community with the value that no one should have to die or grieve alone. Volunteer Helping Hands is CaringMatters’ Hospice Support program, where trained volunteers provide companionship and practical support for patients with serious, life-limiting illnesses.  Peer bereavement groups, led by trained volunteers, offer a safe and confidential place to cope with loss and grief.  CaringMatter’s Children Bereavement Services allow children to explore their feelings while developing healthy coping strategies. Camp Erin, Good Grief Clubs, and Family Nights are all volunteer-based programs geared towards helping children and their families grieve in a safe and compassionate environment. Successful implementation of CaringMatter’s programming would not be possible without the dedication of their team of volunteers.  In FY18, volunteers donated more than 18,000 hours of their time at a value of nearly $500,000. 

With the $5,000 award, CaringMatters plans to increase the knowledge of partners and service providers by providing education and training related to grief and bereavement to community professionals who work with families in the up-county regions of Montgomery County.  Through two trainings, community partners, including educators, will be able to provide more effective and efficient referrals to county programs and nonprofit services. Additionally, programs like their Good Grief Club and/or an Adult Peer Support Groups will be added in the up-county area for children, adults, and families.  With this grant award, more than 55 persons will be served through these trainings and programs.

HIF supports organizations that offer solutions to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare for residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. Within our geographic and focus area, we consider efforts to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare, expand the availability of comprehensive healthcare, build appropriate capacity in the healthcare network, and grow the healthcare workforce. To learn more, please visit our website at and like us on Facebook at

To view the press release, click here.