Cassy Morris said about 60 percent of Prince George’s County residents in the LGBTQ community who seek shelter, mental health support and other social services travel across the border in northwest D.C. to Casa Ruby.
Casa, which also provides Latino and immigration services, remains the only organization in the D.C. region to offer year-round support for LGBTQ residents.
“We need a brick-and-mortar space here in Prince George’s County,” said Morris, a member of the LGBTQ Dignity Project in the county. “Prince George’s County prides itself on being the richest African-American community in the world. But it shouldn’t be just for some people. It should be for everyone.”
The dignity project, which has organized protests, food drives and pushed for legislation aimed at supporting youth in public schools, could experience a big boost in its programs thanks to the county’s Strategic Partnership Nonprofit Relief Fund.
Nonprofit organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for a portion of $3 million between July 7 and 30. Groups could be awarded a grant up to $100,000.
Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis with specific guidelines. Some of the eligibility requirements include:
- Organization’s physical location must be in Prince George’s.
- Must be registered as a 501c3 or 501c4 organization.
- Not in bankruptcy or litigation.
- Incurred financial losses caused directly, or indirectly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most importantly, an organization must be in “good standing” with the state of Maryland which can be verified by visiting https://egov.maryland.gov/BusinessExpress/EntitySearch.
Those awarded a grant will be notified with an email and funds must be spent by Dec. 31.
Prince George’s recorded the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the state with more than 85,000. As of Friday, June 25, nearly 491,000 residents received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, with COVID-19 vaccines becoming more available, businesses will be permitted to allow 100 percent capacity and mask mandates will no longer be required, starting Thursday, July 1.
However, business owners can still request patrons to wear masks inside their establishments.
As for nonprofits, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks has said those groups play a vital part in improving the community.
“Full recovery from this pandemic includes relief for organizations who have played an integral role in providing services for those in need throughout the pandemic,” she said in a statement. “The Strategic Partnership Relief Fund provides a path forward for our nonprofits, preserves healthy communities and will ensure greatness continues to grow in Prince George’s County.”
For information on the application process, email PGCNonprofits@co.pg.md.us.