By Anna Giles

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Local charities have become a major victim of the coronavirus pandemic, dealing with closures, layoffs, and hundreds of thousands of dollars lost with little to no government relief available.

Coronavirus keeps locked away what charities and nonprofits depend on most: grants, donations and volunteers.

“It’s definitely a dire time for us,” said Leah Miller, CEO of Habitat for Humanity in the Greater Sacramento Area.

Habitat for Humanity has lost more than $100,000 — money they need for materials. Now 90% of workers are furloughed. Construction on homes for low-income families is dead in the water due to lack of materials, funds and volunteers.

“To them, this is the hope and the dream they have of becoming a homeowner, the dream of an affordable place to call home,” Miller said.

READ: Injured Bald Eagle Rescued From Yuba County, Nonprofits Step Up To Help It Recover

Another nonprofit, the Sacramento Ballet, has had to canceled shows and probably won’t be able to hold summer classes.

“We’ve had a couple of our revenue streams completely cut off,” said Amy Seiwart, Sacramento Ballet’s artistic director.

Losses for the ballet so far stand at almost $500,000. They are one of many nonprofits trying to go online, but it doesn’t make ends meet.

“Our school, even though it’s virtual right now, it is contracted, so our payment is reflective of that,” Seiwart said.

Sacramento State University surveyed more than 100 nonprofits in local counties and found 20% are experiencing closures. The survey also found more than 70% have cut operations and have lost revenue.

You can read the full survey here. 

Now they turn to their communities, who also face tough times.

“We realize that it’s going to be a real struggle this year that many people are out of work and it’s going to be hard to ask them for even that $15,” Mackenzie Weezer with Sacramento Splash.

The Big Day of Giving, a huge fundraising event for nonprofits, is coming up on May 7.


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