SAN ANGELO, Texas – The ongoing pandemic has impacted area non-profits and charitable organizations, forcing them to adapt how they interact with the community. Janet Karcher, VP of Development and Marketing for the San Angelo Area Foundation, says SAAF has been fortunate, as their grant programs aren’t as vulnerable as other services.
“Very early on […] the board of directors here at the San Angelo Area Foundation pivoted very quickly by creating the COVID response fund which is allowed the foundation to make emergency grants to organizations in our community,” explained Karcher. “We’re here to help with those emergency grants to provide the additional support. We’re a little bit more unique than an organization that is providing a direct service to our community.”
One such direct service organization is Habitat for Humanity, which typically builds about three homes a year. Due to the ongoing pandemic, between March 2020 and February 2021, they were only able to complete one. A main reason for the slow down is that corrections and justice department trustees often work on the homes allowing habitat for humanity to operate without labor costs.
“[This] is a two fold thing as it helps them learn a trade so once they get out of the prison system they’re able to go out and apply for jobs,” said Pam Hammer, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of San Angelo. “For us, it saves us on labor.”
Since corrections facilities locked down at the outset of the pandemic, labor became a cost they had to bear. However, the organization has been able to regroup, and plans to move forward with their next builds.