Addressing Needs of Low-Income Populations

Jul 2, 2020 4:30 PM ET

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic escalated in the U.S. in March, businesses have shuttered, leaving millions to unexpectedly need to file for unemployment. People who live paycheck-to-paycheck don’t have emergency savings. And now, they need help meeting the basics: food, childcare and housing.” – Michael K. Durkin, President and CEO, United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley.

To reach such populations, the Biogen Foundation is supporting organizations like United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley and The North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) who are finding creative ways to reach those who need help most.

In Massachusetts, United Way launched the COVID-19 Family Support Fund to support working families affected by the pandemic. The need is especially great in areas like Chelsea, a densely populated city that’s considered to be a state epicenter of the virus and is home to many low wage, hourly workers as well as undocumented immigrants, who are ineligible for unemployment benefits. United Way created the One Chelsea Fund to help relieve the financial struggles of such individuals and their families.

In North Carolina, the threat of reduced regular primary care visits, additional COVID-19 related needs of North Carolinians and uncertain federal funding are pushing NC's Community Health Centers to their breaking point. NCCHCA is helping its member network of over 250 sites to provide affordable primary care to patients, existing and new, across the state. These sites serve anyone who walks in the door, regardless of ability to pay, providing a valuable primary care front door to the under-served and vulnerable throughout the state.

“We are grateful to the Biogen Foundation for both thinking of our Community Health Centers during this challenging time and for giving our 42 Community Health Centers funds that help them keep the doors open for the state’s medically underserved,” said Chris Shank, CEO of the North Carolina Community Health Center Association.

During these unprecedented times, community organizations across the country are stepping up to provide the additional aid most critical to our vulnerable communities. By supporting organizations like United Way and NCCHCA, we aim to help reach the individuals and families who need it most – at the time of their greatest need.