For media inquiries regarding Foundation program areas and grantmaking, please email Rachael Kagan, Director of Communications and Public Affairs.
“The threat of homelessness is a significant reason for why [domestic violence] survivors stay in abusive relationships,” says an August 2020 Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) newsletter. Domestic violence prevention is a BSCF funding priority. In 2019 it “funded a statewide evaluation” of nineteen of the thirty-three groups (in California) that implemented the federally funded Domestic Violence Housing First program’s model, which “prioritizes housing stability as the first step toward empowering survivors and their families to regain control of their lives and begin healing.”
Thirteen major philanthropic foundations have pooled resources to launch Together Toward Health, which will connect with community based organizations to expand workforce development opportunities for Californians most impacted by COVID-19, and create and amplify public outreach efforts to reduce its spread.
The fast pace of current events, dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic, and uncertainty about the upcoming November 2020 election, and the high stakes for health, equity, and economic recovery are dominating our waking hours and keeping us up at night. The stress is real. And, the impact is not evenly distributed. The pandemic is exploiting and worsening existing inequities, by taking lives and livelihoods. It presents a challenge, a responsibility, and an opportunity.
This is a moment to seize the potential of focusing on child care workers as a linchpin for broader health and economic benefits.
Complex, uncertain and volatile. These words only begin to describe our world today. The pandemic flipped lives upside down, compromising the physical health of over six million people—disproportionately Black, Indigenous and People of Color—and the mental and emotional health of countless more. The urgent calls for racial justice require all of us reflect on our core values and identify ways we can help dismantle systemic racism.
Over the last two years, Blue Shield of California Foundation, in partnership with the FORESIGHT initiative and the Institute for the Future, has supported dozens of conversations with low-income Californians focused on the future of health and family life. People told us plainly that what will make them healthy in the future is deeply connected to escaping their day-to-day struggle for survival and achieving a sense of belonging in their communities, both socially and economically. Hope for the future involves being able to provide for their families and spend time with their children.
Building on the state’s comprehensive actions to support diverse communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom announced $81.8 million in additional commitments from private and philanthropic partners to provide resources and services for individuals needing to isolate or quarantine. Blue Shield of California Foundation is proud to partner with the Office of the Governor on these efforts.
Relationship violence threatens not only students’ physical safety and emotional well-being, but also their academic prospects. Some campuses are finding solutions to help keep survivors in school.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, incarcerated individuals in California’s 35 state prisons faced poor mental health care. The situation is especially dire for the rapidly increasing number of female prisoners, who make up 4 percent of the state’s incarcerated population but 11 percent of suicides, according to 2016 figures.
The restrictions the coronavirus pandemic has forced upon us have been difficult. But for some, those restrictions can prove be life-threatening. The phrase “stay home, stay safe” can be tragically ironic for people living in abusive households.
This commentary by the executive director of our grantee, Cultiva La Salud, illuminates the risks that come along with sheltering in place for many undocumented victims of domestic violence.