Our nation is taking necessary shutdown and social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the process, another incidental surge is growing in strength: family breakdown harming our most vulnerable children, families and elders. We need the Church to engage now with an overwhelming counter-surge of care.
Prospective Churches, CarePortal Church Leaders
Disaster Relief Executive Overview
The Church, through a network of roughly 350,000 local congregations, has the greatest grassroots care distribution network in the nation. CarePortal – careportal.org – is a connecting platform with approved Requesting Agencies entering real-time needs of local children and families in crisis on the one side, with real-time delivery of those needs to enrolled local churches on the other side. This allows a local church, through its members, to say “yes” to care connections with a local family in need. CarePortal started in March of 2015 in one county in one state and is now in more than 200 counties across 21 states with more than 2,300 churches having served more than 57,000 children.
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are expediting the development of a “Disaster Relief” feature of CarePortal set for launch on Good Friday, April 10, designed for local roll-out and national scale to support 10,000+ activated churches.
There will be three specific needs at the bullseye of this crisis that can be presented by Requesting Agencies and met by local churches through the Disaster Relief feature. Churches can also enter needs directly for their congregation to meet.
- Support an Emergency Worker
Church Action: Assign a family to call or otherwise direct-connect with an emergency worker in need, to learn the needs of that person and his/her family. Your church will then take initiative to meet the practical needs of the family and provide wrap-around relational, emotional and prayer support for the family ongoing.
- Alleviate Food/Essentials Insecurity
Church Action: Buy and deliver groceries and other essentials for families in acute crisis, who are unable (by quarantine, transportation or lack of resources) to provide.
- Stabilize Housing Insecurity
Church Action: Pay for rent, utilities and/or temporary emergency shelter for families/children in acute crisis, to mitigate housing insecurity pressures for our most vulnerable neighbors.
CarePortal is built to track real-time impact, i.e. number of agencies and churches engaged, number of families and children served, and the economic impact of needs met. This is built into the technology; therefore, there will be constant ongoing transparency of this care intervention by the Church.