North County Lifeline – which has served low-income, disadvantaged populations across North San Diego County for nearly a half century – has received a lifeline of its own via a $100,000 grant from the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

“Support from The San Diego Foundation COVID-19 Community Response Fund has made it possible for North County Lifeline to provide emergency assistance to 251 people in less than two months,” said Executive Director Don Stump. “The majority of our clients requesting support needed urgent help to buy groceries, pay rent, or obtain housing. North County Lifeline is also helping clients obtain internet access, computers, and pre-paid cell phones needed to receive services, attend school, and address daily needs throughout the crisis.”

In addition, grant funding has enabled Lifeline to pivot seamlessly to Telehealth services in counseling, case management and mental health for more than 900 low-income youth, adults and families.

“The donation from The San Diego Foundation Community Response Fund is having a significant impact,” said Philanthropic Grants Manager Julia Fordham.

North County Lifeline serves more than 5,300 people annually focusing on areas ranging from behavioral health and domestic violence prevention to youth development and transition age foster youth. Almost all of North County Lifeline’s clients were already facing significant obstacles prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Job losses, school closures and a lack of available services have made their needs increasingly urgent.

“I don’t know what we would have done without this help. We would still be in the hotel or worse, on the streets homeless,” said one North County Lifeline client.

“I don’t know what I’d do without North County Lifeline,” said another.

Overall, North County Lifeline is experiencing a 20 to 35 percent increase in client referrals depending on the program, and demand for food distribution has more than tripled. The organization’s main offices in Vista and Oceanside have remained open during the crisis to address urgent client needs. However, the majority of North County Lifeline’s clinicians and case managers are now working remotely via Telehealth.

Despite not having as much face-to-face interaction, clients are still finding ways to show appreciation for the support North County Lifeline is providing. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, San Diegans have been posting messages of hope and gratitude on the bright blue door of North County Lifeline’s homeless youth drop-in center.

Since March, more than 3,200 individuals, companies, foundations and donor-advised funds have contributed in excess of $16.7 million to the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund, permitting the distribute of more than $12.3 million in grants to date.

The giving underscores how U.S. community foundations are moving decisively to help those in need during the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, a recent survey by the Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative found donor-advised funds at 64 U.S. community foundations granted $821.9 million to nonprofits in March and April, an increase of $302.5 million compared to the same period a year ago.

Help San Diego families in need by donating today.