The $2 trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill has yet to reach people in need and the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) is not waiting. In fact, the Asheville, North Carolina-based organization recently launched the “COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Round: Community Response Grants,” “to quickly route funds to individuals, families, and community organizations across the LGBTQ South,” according to its website.  

“We prioritize LGBTQ people, people of color, non-binary, trans people are always the first on our list,” Allison Scott, CSE’s director of policy and programs told ABC’s local station WLOS, in an article published March 4. “We know that these groups are impacted at a much higher margin when things go bad like COVID-19, when joblessness spikes, health care, access to health care.” 

The first round of funding, which CSE distributed from a pot of $25,000, started with $100 checks for everyone who qualified, on April 1, according to WLOS. As long as the project goes to helping “LGBTQ Southerners in response to COVID-19,” confirmed the site, anyone can apply for a grant of up to $500. 

For projects seeking funding, the website notes that the program must be based in the South and promote or support LGBTQ people in the region, with a tie to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as delivering meals to the elderly; supporting a group that’s already experiencing the health and financial impacts of the crisis, such as by addressing mental health challenges; and have an annual budget of less than $50,000, though the website said it will not discriminate if the yearly budget is more.

To learn more about the ongoing grant, visit CSE’s site or apply here