Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom released the 2021 second annual Social Innovation Impact Report demonstrating California’s collaborative, multi-sector approach to addressing the state’s most persistent challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Newsom began his term in office, California has spearheaded 44 public-private partnerships totaling more than $4 billion in corporate and philanthropic contributions and engaging more than 1,600 community-based organizations. In 2021, public-private partnerships invested $138 million in communities across the state.
“Public-private partnerships are central to our innovative approach,” said Newsom. “This report demonstrates the tangible results of our spirit of collaboration and innovation – results that have inspired other states, and even our federal partners, to emulate our approach. While we have been tested in the last few years – by fires, by disease, even at times, by each other – this spirit will keep us moving toward the ‘California For All’ that we aspire to build.”
COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach
When the COVID-19 vaccine began rolling out in early 2021, Newsom launched an all-hands-on-deck approach to vaccinate the most vulnerable communities. Recognizing the key role that trusted messengers play at the local level, the state formed partnerships with California Community Foundation, Public Health Institute’s (PHI) Together Toward Health (TTH) initiative and Sierra Health Foundation’s Vaccine Equity Campaign to provide direct appointment assistance, at-home vaccinations and transportation services, and targeted community outreach. To date, these partnerships have funded and mobilized over 700 community-based organizations across the state to reach 14 million Californians, and have contributed to California’s standing, consistently, throughout this year as having among the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates in the country.
Housing The Homeless
California’s homelessness crisis has been decades in the making, affecting communities throughout the state – rural and urban, inland and coastal. The Governor’s commitment to addressing homelessness took on a new urgency amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the virus posing particular danger to the unsheltered. Building on a first-in-the-nation program to temporarily house Californians experiencing homelessness, the governor announced Homekey, an innovative program that housed over 8,000 individuals by converting hotel rooms, motels, vacant apartments, and other buildings to permanent housing. In 2021 Newsom announced an unprecedented expansion of Homekey by investing $2.75 billion to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings, and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing. With support from philanthropy, the state has partnered with Enterprise Community Partners on these efforts to provide communities across California with the technical and capacity assistance needed to successfully apply, develop, and manage projects on behalf of residents and impacted communities.
Migrants And Refugees
When there was an urgent humanitarian need at the border, Governor Newsom launched the California Dignity For Families Fund to support migrants and asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children. A partnership with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), the fund supports the integration of new arrivals and their families into California communities, with a particular focus on unaccompanied children after they are placed with families or a sponsor.
Climate Resilience, Disaster Relief
With an unprecedented $15 billion investment in the 2021-22 state budget to bolster climate resilience policies – including $3.9 billion investment to hit fast forward on the state’s Zero-Emission Vehicle goals and $3.7 billion over three years to build resilience against the state’s multi-faceted climate risks, including extreme heat, rising sea levels, and environmental justice priorities – the governor is acting boldly to combat climate change. Still, California has more work to do to ensure that communities who are most vulnerable to climate change are resilient to the effects of rising temperatures. Newsom is developing several public-private partnerships, many of which will be formally announced in 2022, including the High Road Training Fund, Community Economic Resilience Fund, Drought Recovery and Resilience Fund, and Wildfire Relief.
2021 Philanthropic Funding:
COVID-19 — $71.9 million;
Housing and Homelessness — $26.3 million;
Immigrants and Refugees — $34 million;
Jobs and the Economy — $900,000;
Early Childhood Learning and Care — $4.3 million;
Social Benefits Outreach — $600,000.
2021 Impact By Numbers:
14 million Californians educated about COVID-19 safety and vaccines – including 1.4 million Californians assisted with COVID-19 vaccine appointments;
1.6 million personal protective equipment items, including masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves, provided;
430,000 low-income Californians reached to help connect them with critical benefits including cash assistance, food, and healthcare;
68,000 Californians provided with workforce development training;
700+ community-based organizations supported with COVID-19 vaccine outreach and education;
1000 Afghans arriving in California housed;
86 tiny homes purchased for veterans.