New Emergency Response Center Helps Broward Residents Face Coronavirus

September 14, 2020
Community Foundation of Broward Vice President Sheri Brown delivers the keynote address at the opening of the Parent’s Information & Resource Center's coronavirus emergency assistance Center.

The grand opening of a coronavirus emergency assistance center in Pompano Beach brings a new food bank and a boost to mental health services for people in crisis – thanks to support from the Community Foundation of Broward.

When the coronavirus hit Broward, the economic repercussions threatened the critical mission of the Parent’s Information & Resource Center, known as PIRC – which provides mental health services, substance abuse counseling and other assistance to children and adults in need.

All of a sudden, PIRC clients who lost their health insurance during the crisis or who couldn’t afford copays started canceling appointments with psychologists and therapists – at a time when many of these struggling residents also needed help feeding their families and making ends meet.

Pompano Beach Mayor Rex Hardin and Community Foundation Vice President Sheri Brown tour the food bank in PIRC's new coronavirus emergency assistance center.

And with a more than 60 percent drop in its own income, PIRC feared it would have to stop providing the critical community services it had delivered since 1992.

While facing this “nightmare,” PIRC President & CEO Janet Ward said she got a call from the Community Foundation of Broward offering a hand up for PIRC and its clients.

“Sheri Brown called me and said, ‘How can I help you?’” said Ward, PIRC’s founder. “From there, she said, ‘Let’s work on something together.’”

A $125,000 emergency grant from the Community Foundation helped keep PIRC’s important work going. This infusion of resources enabled PIRC to provide more counseling sessions over the phone and online for its clients. And the grant helped PIRC launch the emergency center, where PIRC clients can get food as well as mortgage and utility assistance.

At the Sept. 10 grand opening of PIRC’s new emergency assistance center, Sheri credited the local philanthropists with charitable Funds at the Community Foundation who made it possible to provide this innovative pandemic relief for Broward residents.

“They empower us to go out into the community to identify those community needs and to provide funds,” Sheri said during her remarks at the ribbon cutting. “On behalf of our Board of Directors and President/CEO Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, I want to thank Janet Ward for having a vision to create the COVID-19 emergency response center right here in Pompano Beach.”

Support for PIRC’s new emergency center is just one example of more than $3 million in immediate crisis response the Community Foundation has provided during the pandemic – through emergency grants, grant flexibility, new collaborations and other innovative support.

And this is only the beginning. As the far-reaching effects of this health and economic crisis continue to unfold, our community requires more endowed resources that are able to fuel long-term solutions.

Thanks to visionary philanthropists who partner with the Community Foundation, we will be there to tackle Broward’s big challenges – during this crisis and beyond.

PIRC’s emergency grant was made possible by support from the following charitable Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward:

  • Kearns Family Foundation Fund
  • August Urbanek Family Fund
  • Marlene Holder Fund for Broward
  • Drial Foundation Fund
  • Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund
In addition to counseling, PIRC's clients can get food and help with housing costs through the new coronavirus emergency assistance center in Pompano Beach.
Contact Information

For more information about the Community Foundation of Broward, contact or 954-761-9503.

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