For older adults in Columbus, Ohio – and for seniors across the country – social isolation is common. That’s why local nonprofit At Home by High assembles neighbors in an “urban village” created by neighbors, for neighbors to provide support, connectedness, and enable independence for adults ages 50+ in the city’s Short North neighborhoods.
The organization is made of up dozens of volunteers who help seniors remain in their homes and communities by doing household chores, providing transportation and offering companionship to those who are isolated, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Services are free to low-income residents and affordable for those who can pay.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became difficult for At Home by High to deliver its services to the seniors who desperately needed a lifeline during stay-at-home orders. The organization needed help to not only keep their services running, but to modify services based on social distancing guidelines.
While At Home by High did not apply for first round PPP funding due to time constraints, the organization pursued a second round PPP loan to help pay salaries and onboard an Americorps volunteer to help with service delivery and volunteer coordination.
Founder and executive director Katie Beaumont reached out to a CRF community partner in the organization’s service area and got connected with CRF’s PPP loan application. While Beaumont was a bit intimidated by the process before learning about CRF, she found the process much more straightforward and supportive than she had imagined.
At Home by High received its PPP loan within weeks of applying and immediately used those funds to support its service model – neighbors helping neighbors – by investing in programmatic support and paying staff salaries. As founder of the organization, Beaumont was relieved that At Home by High could continue its role as a source of advocacy, support and compassion for the city’s seniors.