The City of Bend is allocating $2.6 million of Coronavirus Relief Funds & we’re distributing $500,000!

The City of Bend is releasing $2.6 million of state-directed Coronavirus Relief Funds (from Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding) to organizations that can support businesses, families and vulnerable populations. The City will rely on community partners to distribute most of the CARES Act funding that was intended to support local governments. The City will distribute the $2.6 million funds to community partners as follows:

  • $1 million to businesses and community assistance, through the Bend Chamber, which will allocate those funds,
  • $600,000 for City of Bend costs, including $50,000 that the City already distributed to NeighborImpact,
  • $300,000 for childcare costs, distributed to NeighborImpact and Bend Park and Recreation District, and
  • $700,000 to NeighborImpact and United Way of Central Oregon to assist vulnerable populations.

The Bend Chamber’s funds will be used to help local businesses with a business resiliency grant aimed at Bend businesses with 50 employees or less.

“Preserving our existing childcare providers is vital as we look toward economic recovery,” said City Business Advocate Ben Hemson. “Allocating these funds to NeighborImpact while holding
some funds back for potential assistance to school age children this fall provides some certainty for Bend’s working families as they return to work.”

“Part of the funds to NeighborImpact will help members of our community with rental and mortgage assistance,” said Shelly Smith, a senior management analyst at the City. “United Way of Central Oregon will use their existing, successful COVID Recovery and Resilience Grant Program to quickly distribute critically-needed funds to local nonprofits that serve vulnerable populations most impacted by this pandemic.”

The City Council’s Stewardship Subcommittee met this week and heard about the allocation plan.

“Our hard working community members and excellent businesses need all the help they can get right now,” said Councilor Barb Campbell. “We are fortunate to have excellent partners such as NeighborImpact, United Way of Central Oregon and our local Chamber of Commerce to quickly get these funds out to the people, nonprofits and employers who need them the most.”

The funding must be used to pay for unbudgeted COVID-19 related expenses between March and December of 2020, and funds must be spent by the end of 2020. Funding comes with a high level of financial accountability and reporting requirements for those receiving funds, will be distributed in phases to ensure compliance on timelines and contract deliverables, and must be to the recipients by the end of 2020. Those receiving funds must prove that they are not getting funds for the same expenses from different sources.

We’ve changed our name to United Way of Central Oregon!

What’s in a name? For us, the answer is: a lot.


We recently changed our name from United Way of Deschutes County to United Way of Central Oregon. The change reflects the regional catchment area that we have been serving for several years. Our influence touches all of Central Oregon: Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties, as well as the lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.


We are focused on childhood trauma as the root cause of challenges faced by many in our community and thus began TRACEs – a partnership of nearly 150 organizations and agencies throughout Central Oregon working together to raise awareness of the effects of trauma, and to reduce its incidence and impact, as well as to build resilience in individuals, families, and our community. TRACEs launched in 2017.


As the Backbone Agency supporting this community-wide collective action partnership and serving as fiscal agent, we are facilitating the far reach of TRACEs in our region. Also, as a member of the Steering Committee, we are guiding and funding this work.


As the most reliable agency with capacity to reach our most marginalized community members and a community leader with a deep and longstanding familiarity of agencies serving Central Oregon’s most vulnerable, we have also emerged as a clearinghouse for COVID-19 donations in our region.


In March of this year, we established the Central Oregon COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and raised $135,000 to distribute to 29 local and regional nonprofits providing essential services and meeting the emergency needs of our community’s hardest hit as the pandemic first started.


Since then, we have pivoted towards ongoing needs that members of our community and the agencies that serve them are facing in adapting to the pandemic. We have created the Central Oregon COVID-19 Recovery & Resilience Fund, from which the first round of grant funding to local agencies will be announced next month.


We have been in existence in our region for 67 year, fighting for the health, education, financial stability, and resilience of every person in our community. New name. Same venerable organization.


Donate today.

We stand in solidarity with worldwide protests demanding racial justice & Black Lives Matter movement.

In response to the police brutality and racism that caused the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black people and people of color, we want to make it clear that we stand in solidarity with the worldwide protests demanding racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.


Our work – fighting for the health, education, financial stability and resilience of EVERY person in our Central Oregon community, reducing the incidence and impacts of childhood trauma through the TRACEs movement, integrating the practices and policies based on the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), being trauma-informed, and integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) – necessarily requires that we embrace and fight for racial justice.


We stand firmly against racism and oppression, and we are listening and learning. We will continue to dismantle racism where we see it – in the work we do and the ways we serve our Central Oregon community. We commit to using our position in the community to affect systemic, community-wide change in the areas of implicit and systemic racism. We want you to join us.




  • Programs: We understand the psychological and physical factors that make the trauma of racism a very real public health issue. Our collective impact aims to break the cycle of generational poverty and historical oppression in Central Oregon through our TRACEs work.  We support programs across Central Oregon that fight for the health, education, financial stability, and resilience of EVERY person in our Central Oregon community, that are nurturing resilience and reducing the effects of trauma, and that incorporate DEI.  We are investing in things like stable housing, mental health services, and community organizations… things that make up a community’s true safety net.


  • Grant Access: As a grantor, we need to make sure EVERYONE knows about the grants we provide to nonprofits in our region. Please share or apply for grants from these funds here. We welcome ideas on how we can increase awareness about available funds.


  • Leadership: We recognize that the leadership in our organization does not reflect the diversity it should. We commit to changing that. As staff positions transition, we will actively look to fill new positions with diverse candidates whose lived experiences enrich how we serve our community.  You can read more about the changes United Way Worldwide is instituting to directly address racial equity and ethnic discrimination here.


  • Board Recruitment: In the past 18 months, we’ve been trained on DEI issues, and we recognized at that time that our Board of Directors didn’t reflect the people we serve, and that wasn’t fair. We’re working on making board participation more accessible to more members of the Central Oregon community. We’d like you to join us to share your voice.


Contact us to share your thoughts and get involved.